Rice exports could reach 8m tonnes despite floods

Rice exports could reach 8m tonnes despite floods

A worker weighs sacks of rice at a market in Khon Kaen province on May 27, 2022. (Photo: Chakrapan Natanri)
A worker weighs sacks of rice at a market in Khon Kaen province on May 27, 2022. (Photo: Chakrapan Natanri)

Thailand's rice exports could reach 8 million tonnes this year as flooding caused by Typhoon Noru has had little impact and a weak baht has helped overseas sales, the president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association said on Wednesday.

The world's third largest rice exporter shipped 6.11 million tonnes of the grain last year.

Chookiat Ophaswongse, honourary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, told Reuters that floods resulting from the typhoon in late September and early October had caused some damage to crops, but had not impacted exports.

"We can still reach 7.5 million tonnes (of exports) this year and can reach 8 million as well due to the weak baht and India's export tax," Mr Chookiat said.

In September, India, the world's largest exporter, banned overseas sales of broken rice and levied a 20% duty on exports on various rice grades.

Unless there is a dramatic change in the situation, he expected exports of 8 million tonnes in 2023 too.

The association in September raised its export target to 7.5 million tonnes from 7 million tonnes due to higher output and weak baht.

On Tuesday, Thai National Shippers' Council (TNSC) chairman Chaichan Chareonsuk said the country's exports for the last four months of this year are likely to see continued growth momentum.

Thailand's exports should grow by 8% this year if China's economy recovers and the shortage of semiconductors eases, Mr Chaichan said.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, global rice exports totalled 51.63 million tonnes in 2021. India accounted for 41% of this total, followed by Vietnam and Thailand at about 12% each. 


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