No tariffs for EU rice shipments
Thailand sees higher shipment opportunities for Thai premium rice in the EU after the bloc allowed rice imports of 24,883 tonnes with zero import tariffs for October.
Keerati Rushchano, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the European Commission on Sept 22 announced that the remaining annual quota for rice (white rice, Thai hom mali rice, Thai fragrant rice and 100% parboiled rice) would have zero tariffs in October for up to 24,883 tonnes.
The EU has set annual rice import quota of 630,000 tonnes this year.
"Given the zero import tariff, it is a good opportunity for Thai rice exporters to raise their exports to the EU market," Mr Keerati said.
Normally the EU collects an import tariff of €145 per tonne.
The EU has required importers to apply for import licences within the first 10 working days of October.
Mr Keerati said Thai rice exporters wishing to exercise the quota must apply first for a certificate for exporting rice to the EU through the department.
The exporters can apply for a certificate from Sept 29 to Oct 14 without any special fees, he said.
In the first eight months of 2020, Thailand exported 146,362 tonnes of rice worth US$140 million to the EU. In 2019, Thailand exported 405,263 tonnes of rice to the EU worth $315 million, up from 399,519 tonnes worth $296 million in 2018.
Charoen Laothammatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said Thailand's rice exports to the EU are likely to drop from 2019 because of the impact of the pandemic, which weakened rice demand at restaurants and hotels.
Making predictions about shipments of premium hom mali rice is hard this year because production capacity remains uncertain.
"In the first nine months of the year, Thailand has shipped about 4 million tonnes of rice," Mr Charoen said.