Rice exports: Thailand drops to third place

It's now official, rice exports fell 37% to 6.7 million tonnes & 3rd place. India in 1st with 10.3 million & Vietnam in 2nd with 8 million.

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Agriculture

Thailand rice exports hit 12-year low

24 Jan 2013

Rice exports from Thailand plunged 37 per cent last year to the lowest in more than a decade, plunging the nation from best in the world to third place.

Thailand sold 6.73 million (metric) tonnes with a value of $4.63 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday.

That compares with 10.7 million tonnes, worth $6.43 billion a year earlier, data showed.

Thai rice export shipments fell to the lowest since 2000 when the country exported 6.55 million tonnes, according to figures kept by the US Department of Agriculture.

India became the largest supplier last year, selling 10.3 million tonnes, according to the USDA. Vietnam shipped 8 million tonnes, according to a report posted on the Vietnam's General Customs Department website on Jan 16.

Rice exports declined after the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra introduced a price support programme in October, 2011. The government now buys the grain from farmers above market rates to boost domestic prices and lift rural incomes.

Stockpiles in Thailand will climb to a record 11.7 million tonnes in the 2012-2013 season now under way, the USDA estimates.

The government bought 9 million tonnes of unmilled rice from farmers and expects to purchase as much as 11 million tonnes this current, main harvest, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said Wednesday.

The strengthening baht has made exports "quite difficult," he told reporters. The baht touched 29.66 per dollar on Monday, the strongest level since August 2011.

The total cost of the rice-purchase programme may be as much as 440 billion baht ($14.8 billion) in the 2012-2013 season, compared with 376 billion baht or around 3.4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the previous year, according to the World Bank.

Losses are estimated at about 115 billion baht last year and 140 billion this year, the World Bank said in December.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Agriculture, Thailand rice exports hit 12-year low, 24 Jan 2013, link)


Rice Industry Vocabulary

12-year low - the lowest level in 12 years

hit - reach
Thailand rice exports hit 12-year low

decade - a period of ten years ทศวรรษ, ระยะเวลา 10 ปี
the lowest in more than a decade

plunge - fall quickly by a large amount (ราคา) ร่วงหรือตกลงอย่างมาก

Rice exports from Thailand plunged 37 per cent last year to the lowest in more than a decade, plunging the nation from best in the world to third place.

data - facts or information used for making calculations or decisions ข้อมูล
data showed

Thailand sold 6.73 million tonnes, data showed.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) - the agency of the US government in charge of agriculture, also collects many statistics on international agriculture (See Wikipedia)

figures - statistics, numbers describing the economy
according to figures
according to figures kept by the USDA

Thai rice export shipments fell to the lowest since 2000 when the country exported 6.55 million tonnes, according to figures kept by the US Department of Agriculture.

report posted on website - when a report is put on the internet so everyone can read it

India became the largest supplier last year, selling 10.3 million tonnes, according to the USDA. Vietnam shipped 8 million tonnes, according to a report posted on the Vietnam's General Customs Department website on Jan 16.

support - help, by giving money, for example สนับสนุน
price support - when the government pays part of the price (to keep prices higher than actual market prices)
price support programme

Rice exports declined after the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra introduced a price support programme in October, 2011.

grain - a crop like rice or wheat; the seed from cereal crops such as rice, wheat, or corn เมล็ดพืช

the government buys the grain from farmers

domestic - within the country ภายในประเทศ
domestic prices - prices within the country

boost - to increase; to strengthen เพิ่ม; ทำให้มีกำลังมากขึ้น
boost domestic prices - increase prices inside the country

rural - in the countryside, farming area ในชนบท, บ้านนอก
income - money made by people; money coming into a business, household or organization รายได้

rural
incomes - money made by people in farming areas, farmer incomes
lift rural incomes - increase farmer incomes

The government now buys the grain from farmers above market rates to boost domestic prices and lift rural incomes.

stockpile - a large amount kept for future use
season - a period of time during the year (example: the harvest season)

estimates - guesses of what the size, value, amount, cost, etc. of something might be การประมาณค่า
the USDA estimates

losses are estimated at about 115 billion baht last year and 140 billion this year, the World Bank said in December.

record - the best or most ever achieved สถิติ
climb to a record 11.7 million tonnes

stockpiles in Thailand will climb to a record 11.7 million tonnes in the 2012-2013 season now under way, the USDA estimates

rice mill - a factory where rice is processed to produce a product in bags that can be sold in markets and stores โรงสีข้าว, โรงสี, สีไฟ, โรงสีไฟ, โรงงานที่สีข้าวด้วยเครื่องจักร

mill rice - process rice (to make product that can be sold in stores)
milled rice -
rice that has been processed (and is ready to be sold)
unmilled rice - rice that has not been processed yet

current - of the present time ปัจจุบัน
harvest - gathering fully grown crops from the field เก็บเกี่ยว การเก็บเกี่ยวผลผลิต
this current, main harvest

purchase - buy  

The government bought 9 million tonnes of unmilled rice from farmers and expects to purchase as much as 11 million tonnes this current, main harvest, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said Wednesday.

touch - reach
the baht touched 29.66

strong baht - the value of the currency is high compared to other currencies (US dollar and others)
strongest level for the baht
the strongest level since August 2011

strengthening baht - when the baht is getting more valuable compared to other currencies
the strengthening baht has made exports quite difficult

the baht touched 29.66 per dollar on Monday, the strongest level since August 2011

gross domestic product (GDP) - the total value of all the goods and services produced in a country in one year

The total cost of the rice-purchase programme may be as much as 440 billion baht ($14.8 billion) in the 2012-2013 season, compared with 376 billion baht or around 3.4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the previous year, according to the World Bank.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer