Thai rice exports fell in July, both in volume and value, especially for hom mali fragrant rice and parboiled rice, but traders remain upbeat the country's overall rice shipments can reach 11 million tonnes as expected.
The Thai Rice Exporters Association's report said shipments fell to 836,381 tonnes in July, down 7.3% from the same period last year, with values worth 13.83 billion baht, down 6.4%.
The association's president, Charoen Laothammatas, said the drop was primarily because of dips in shipments of parboiled and hom mali rice.
Shipments of parboiled rice significantly declined by 40% to only 140,844 tonnes in July on lower demand from African buyers.
Exports of hom mali rice decreased 7.3% year-on-year to 82,531 tonnes in July.
Pol Lt Charoen said it was fortunate demand for white rice remained strong, with shipments rising 13.4% in July to 568,885 tonnes.
For the first seven months, Thailand shipped a total of 6.16 million tonnes, down 4% from the same period last year.
However, values rose 4.5% year-on- year to reach $3.14 billion (99.6 billion baht).
The association forecast Thailand's rice shipments in August to stay in a range of 800,000 to 900,000 tonnes, with potential buyers including Indonesia, the Philippines, Angola, Malaysia, Kenya, Benin and South Africa.
However, Pol Lt Charoen said the shipment prospects for hom mali rice in August are likely to fall based on limited supply and relatively higher prices.
In a related development, the National Rice Policy Committee yesterday called on agricultural cooperatives and farmers who joined the government sponsored aid programme to delay selling their product and keep their paddy at their barns to help stabilise prices and curb any possible irregularities.