Thailand exported 7.69 million tonnes of rice in 2022, up 22.1% from a year earlier, the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.
The exports exceeded a target of 7.5 million tonnes with top markets being Iraq, South Africa, China and the United States, it said in a statement.
Thai rice exports were strong last year because of the weak baht, Ronnarong Phoolpipat, head of the ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office, told a news conference.
Thailand is the world's third-largest rice exporter after India and Vietnam.
Earlier this month the Thai Rice Exporters Association lowered its target for 2023 from 8 million tonnes to 7.5 million as the baht, which is which is now trading around 32.50 to the US dollar, has appreciated dramatically after reaching a low of 38 last October.
The price of benchmark 5% white rice remains high in world markets, having risen from $465 a tonne in mid-December to $523 as of Jan 18, according to the association’s website.
Thai rice exports also benefited last year from export curbs imposed by India in order to shore up local food security.
Authorities in Delhi are now considering removing some of those curbs as domestic prices have stabilised and government stockpiles are adequate to meet the needs of welfare programmes, sources told Bloomberg earlier this month.