2015 Thai rice export predicted at 9.5 million tons

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BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 -Thai rice exports for the entire year of 2015 is expected to reach 9.5 million tons, while the drought disaster has helped in the release of in-stock rice to feed international market’s high demand, says the Thai Rice Exporters Association President.

The President of Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA) Chareon Laothamatas has revealed TREA’s forecast for rice exports in 2015 to be at 9.5 million tons. This figure is lower than the previous forecast of 10 million tons, while Thai rice exports has already reached 4.5 million tons during the first half of this year.

He has said that rice exports in the latter half of this year is expected to be better than the first half, estimated at 800,000 tons per month, as the market still experiences consistent demand from foreign countries, especially Indonesia and the Philippines.

The current drought disaster has affected the rice production to fall by 15-20 percent, or at about 2-3 million tons of rice.

The TREA President has said that this situation is a good opportunity for the government to release its 15 tons in-stock rice, which will help reduce the maintenance costs by approximately 46 million baht per day, and help reduce the pricing pressure of unmilled rice, which could potentially lead to higher prices.

Meanwhile, the risk factors that could affect the export of Thai rice is the unclear recovery of the global economy which could make importer countries decide to decrease their imports of rice from Thailand, the TREA President has said.

The current price for 5 percent white rice from Thailand is at 395 US Dollars per ton. The TREA has proposed to the government to encourage the export in the latter half of the year through measures such as releasing in-stock rice, establishing the government-to-government sale deal with China on the remaining 2 million tons of rice, and Baht currency management to increase stability and competitiveness with rival exporters.