Thailand aims to export 9.5m tonnes of rice in 2019

Thailand aims to export 9.5m tonnes of rice in 2019

Farmers expect rice exports to be lower than last year. (Post Today photo)
Farmers expect rice exports to be lower than last year. (Post Today photo)

Thailand aims to export 9.5 million tonnes of rice this year, the Thai Rice Exporters Association said on Wednesday, a 14% decline from 2018.

The world's second-biggest rice exporter shipped 11 million tonnes of rice in 2018.

"This year's rice export situation will not sail as smoothly as last year," association president Charoen Laothamatas said in a news conference.

The lower volumes are due to a stronger Thai baht and increased competition from India and Vietnam, Chookiat Ophaswongse, the association's honourary president, said.

The baht has gained nearly 2.6% against the US dollar so far this year.

"Our competitiveness is lower, but our production remains the same," Mr Chookiat said.

He also said Indonesia will import less Thai rice this year due to ample rice stocks, and the Philippines and Malaysia are expected to turn from Thailand to Vietnam due to pricing.

The target of 9.5 million tonnes is expected to be worth US$4.8 billion (150 billion baht), Mr Chookiat said.

Thailand mainly exports rice to African and Asian countries. India is the top exporter of rice and Vietnam is third-largest.


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