BANGKOK, 4 February 2012 – Honorary Chairman of the Thai Rice Exporters Association Chukiat Opaswong asks that the PM discuss the issue of rice export with Japan during her roadshow activity on 6-9 March in a bid to reduce export costs.
Mr. Chukiat stated that the main focus of discussion during Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s Japanese roadshow will probably lie in the industrial sector. However, he expressed his wish for the premier to also raise the issue of rice export during the meeting.
Currently, Japan imports around 300,000 tons of rice from Thailand, all of which is 100% white rice, through the minimum access system. The rice, nonetheless, is subject to tests for over 600 types of chemicals, which contribute to an increase in Thailand’s export costs.
Thus, Mr. Chukiat urged the Prime Minister to request Japan to be more flexible in its rice testing process as well as boost its rice import. He noted that Japan seems to be buying more rice from Vietnam than Thailand at present, which might cost Thailand its shares in the premium rice market. The reason for this is the increased prices of Thai rice brought on by the rice mortgage program.