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World rice league: India vs. Thailand

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With high govt-supported prices in Thailand, Indian rice may grab market share in Thai markets: Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh & Nepal. 

india rice growing areas

Map above of where major agricultural crops are grown in India. Rice shaded in light jade green indicates the most important and extensive growing areas in the east of India. Photo below of Indian rice farmers (Source: Wikipedia).

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EXPORTS

Indian rice steaming ahead

4 million tonnes clocked by March
Phusadee Arunmas

indian rice farmersIndia's rice exports will reach 4 million tonnes next month, putting even more pressure on Thailand to manage the government's paddy mortgage scheme and stockpiles.

Rajen Sundaresan, executive director of the All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) in New Delhi, said when his country lifted the ban on shipments of non-basmati rice last February, exporters were told they could ship a total of 2 million tonnes.

But after exporters shipped 2.4 million tonnes, the Indian government approved another 2 million tonnes on top of the original amount, and the full quota of 4 million tonnes is expected to be met by March 31.

The amount of rice shipped by India to the world market is far greater than the projection for Thai rice exporters.

And Mr Sundaresan said the Indian government is poised to approve yet another 2 million tonnes for export.

This is thanks to improved paddy projections for the year ending Sept 30, with a yield of 89 million tonnes expected, up from 80 million tonnes in the previous crop year.

Good weather, better production and harvesting technologies and attractive prices are credited, said Mr Sundaresan.

Regarding the trend in global rice prices, he anticipates a gradual rise of another 5-10% this year due to natural disasters and growing populations.

"It will not be a big jump due to the good production methods and greater stockpiles of Indian rice," he said

Thailand is a major competitor for India's non-basmati rice, but India is confident of its competitive price.

India's main markets for non-basmati rice are Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Nepal - the same markets for Thai white rice. The AIREA is also lobbying Indonesia and Malaysia to buy more Indian rice.

Mr Sundaresan said his country sells basmati rice to Iran but has had problems receiving payment, so shipments to that market may slow down.

Arrangements could be made to trade Indian rice for Iranian oil, he said. 

Suniyom Taprab, a senior researcher in the Agriculture Ministry's Rice Department, said the cultivation areas of Thailand's main crop paddy this year is 61.95 million rai, up by 0.28%.

The average yield is 329 kilogrammes per rai, down by 0.09% from last year. 

This means the main crop will come in at 20 million tonnes, down from 23 million tonnes last year. 

However, the lower yield will be offset by the second crop on 16.69 million rai, up by 3.66%, bringing the total to 11.11 million tonnes of paddy, up by 49.5%.

Mr Sundaresan was in Thailand to organise the International Sugar, Rice, Maize & Agriculture Expo Asia 2012, to be held at Impact Muang Thong Thani from Aug 29-31. 

(Source: Bangkok Post, EXPORTS, Indian rice steaming ahead, 4 million tonnes clocked by March, 10/02/2012, Phusadee Arunmas, link

Global Rice Markets Vocabulary

rice production in India - "India is one of the world's largest producer of white rice, accounting for 20% of all world rice production. Rice is India's preeminent crop, and is the staple food of the people of the eastern and southern parts of the country. Production increased from 53.6 million tons in FY 1980 to 74.6 million tons in FY 1990, a 39 percent increase over the decade. By FY 1992, rice production had reached 111 million tons, second in the world only to China with its 182 million tons. Since 1950 the increase has been more than 350 percent. Most of this increase was the result of an increase in yields; the number of hectares increased only 40 percent during this period" (See Wikipedia)

staple food -
the main food that a group of people eats regularly (example: bread has been a staple food in Europe while rice is a staple food in Asia)

basmati rice - "a variety of long grain rice grown in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, notable for its fragrance and delicate, nuanced flavour... India is the largest cultivator, consumer and exporter of this rice; it is primarily grown through paddy field farming in the Punjab region... Cooked grains of Basmati rice are characteristically free flowing rather than sticky, as with most long-grain rice.. available in two varieties: white and brown" (See Wikipedia)
non-basmati rice - all other rice, including the rice produced in Thailand

steaming ahead - moving quickly (like a steam train moving fast)  

Indian rice steaming ahead

clocked -
time achieved (as in sports car racing)

4 million tonnes clocked by March

paddy - rice after it has been harvested from the field  ข้าวเปลือก
mortgage - a legal agreement in which you borrow money from a bank in order to buy a house, build something, develop a piece of land, etc.การจำนอง
scheme - a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
paddy mortgage scheme - one name for Thailand's government system of supporting rice prices for farmers

pressure - when people are being pushed or forced to so something; a force causing change
stockpiles - large amounts of something stored for future use กองสินค้าในโกดัง

India's rice exports will reach 4 million tonnes next month, putting even more pressure on Thailand to manage the government's paddy mortgage scheme and stockpiles.

executive - the highest level managers in a company
executive director - the top manager in the company, head of company, leader of the company 

ban
- to say officially that people must not do, sell or use something การประกาศห้าม ห้ามอย่างเป็นทางการ
lift the ban - end the ban

Rajen Sundaresan, executive director of the All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) in New Delhi, said when his country lifted the ban on shipments of non-basmati rice last February, exporters were told they could ship a total of 2 million tonnes.

quota
- the limited quantity that is officially allowed (for example, an import quota for clothing from an exporting country)
met full quota - reached the limit allowed (so limit must be increased again before they can do more)

on top of - in addition to
expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)

But after exporters shipped 2.4 million tonnes, the Indian government approved another 2 million tonnes on top of the original amount, and the full quota of 4 million tonnes is expected to be met by March 31.

projection - guessing a future amount; a calculation or guess about the future based on information that you have การคาดคะเน
poised - about to do or achieve something ได้มาซึ่ง

The amount of rice shipped by India to the world market is far greater than the projection for Thai rice exporters. And Mr Sundaresan said the Indian government is poised to approve yet another 2 million tonnes for export.

projections - what is expected to happen in the future
yield - the amount produced per fixed amount of land used in farming ให้ผลผลิตต่อไร่ an amount of something produced ผลผลิต

This is thanks to improved paddy projections for the year ending Sept 30, with a yield of 89 million tonnes expected, up from 80 million tonnes in the previous crop year.

harvesting - collecting a crop from the fields การเก็บเกี่ยว
attractive - worth having or doing
credited - given as the reasons for something happening

Good weather, better production and harvesting technologies and attractive prices are credited with producing higher yields

trend - a gradual change or development that produces a particular result ทิศทาง แนวโน้ม
global - throughout the world ทั่วโลก
trend in global rice prices

natural - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ
natural disasters - bad events like storms, droughts, floods, that cause damage to people and also to crops

Regarding the trend in global rice prices, he anticipates a gradual rise of another 5-10% this year due to natural disasters and growing populations.

competitor (noun) - a person, team or company that is competing against others ผู้แข่งขัน, คู่แข่ง
major competitor  - one of the biggest and most important competitors

confident - being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ

competitive
(adjective) - involving competition มีการแข่งขัน
competitive price - a good price (a price that is low compared to other prices so is likely to attract customers) 

Thailand is a major competitor for India's non-basmati rice, but India is confident of its competitive price.

trade - the buying and selling of goods การค้าขาย

Arrangements could be made to trade Indian rice for Iranian oil  

cultivation - growing plants
cultivation areas - areas where a crop is being grown

Suniyom Taprab, a senior researcher in the Agriculture Ministry's Rice Department, said the cultivation areas of Thailand's main crop paddy this year is 61.95 million rai, up by 0.28%.

offset - change in the opposite direction; counter-balance, compensate in the opposite direction ("x offsets y" means "x reduces the effect of y"), make up for (profits from the manufacturing business offset losses from the retail business) (See glossary)

However, the lower yield will be offset by the second crop on 16.69 million rai, up by 3.66%, bringing the total to 11.11 million tonnes of paddy, up by 49.5%.

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