6 June 2024

Leading members of the Thai Rice Exporters’ Association are seeking a meeting with Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, to discuss Thai rice exports and Thai rice’s competitiveness on the global market, after Thailand was recently pushed to the world’s third largest rice exporter by Vietnam. Despite its recent ban on rice exports, India remains in the top spot.

Chukiat Opaswongse, president of the association, said today (Tuesday) that, during the first eight months of this year, Vietnam exported 5.81 million tonnes of rice compared to Thailand’s 5.27 million.

He explained that Vietnam managed export more than Thailand because the country bought about two million tonnes of paddy from Cambodia, milled the grains and re-exported them under a Vietnamese brand, adding that Vietnam may buy up to four million tonnes of paddy from Cambodia for export.

Chukiat said that Vietnam does not ban rice imports, unlike Thailand which does for fear that doing so may impact the domestic price of rice, adding that rice buyers do not normally check the DNA of Vietnamese and Cambodian rice to determine their origins.

The association president also said that it remains to be seen whether Thailand can out-export Vietnam, because it will depend on the new rice crop yield, which is to be harvested in November and December.

He predicted that global rice output next year could be 4-5 million tonnes more than this year, with increases expected in Pakistan, China and India.

Global rice prices may drop by about US$50 per tonne, if India lifts the export ban, but the price is expected to remain stable if the ban remains in place.

Regarding rice prices on the world market, Thailand’s 5% white rice is cheaper than rice from other exporting countries, trading at US$580-US$585 per tonne, compared to US$610 for Vietnamese grains and US$600 for grains from Pakistan.

Thailand’s Hom Mali fragrant rice is being traded at US$850, a drop from US$1,000 due to the baht’s devaluation against the US dollar.

The Thai Rice Exporters Association will host an international rice workshop in Bangkok on October 19th, at which there will be representatives from the rice associations of India, Vietnam, Pakistan, Myanmar and Cambodia.