Thai rice export outlook improves

Thai rice export outlook improves

Rice exports will likely fare better than expected, as demand for Thai rice should become more active next month, says the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

"From December-February, we expect Thai rice exports will experience good growth as demand for our grain recovers now that the price gap between Thai, Indian and Vietnamese rice has narrowed," said president Korbsook Iamsuri.

She said Thailand could see 7 million tonnes shipped this year, up from an earlier estimate of 6.5 million tonnes.

Ms Korbsook said next year's rice exports are projected to stay unchanged at 7 million tonnes, as there are yet no clear supporting factors driving shipments.

The latest rice report from the US Agriculture Department shows prices for most grades of Thailand's high- and medium-quality regular-milled white rice has declined by 6-8% over the past two months.

This is mostly due to sales of government rice stocks, a lack of large new sales and the recent availability of new rice from the early harvest of the new crop.

Prices for parboiled rice have declined as well, while those for aromatic grains have increased.

Thailand's high-quality, 100% grade B (fob vessel, Bangkok) milled rice for export was quoted at US$434 a tonne for the week ending Nov 11, down by $30 from the week ending Sept 9 and the lowest since January 2008.

In contrast, price quotes from Vietnam have increased since early September due mostly to recent large sales to the Philippines and China.

Thailand's price quotes for 5% broken grains are now just $21 a tonne above the quotes for Vietnam's 5% double-water-polished milled rice, down from almost $90 in early September and more than $150 early this year.

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