Thai rice exports in 2014 could exceed 9 million tonnes target

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BANGKOK, Aug 11  – The Thai Rice Exporters Association expects Thailand’s rice exports this year to exceed the target of nine million tonnes, thanks to high demand from overseas.

Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said Sunday it is highly likely that Thailand will be able to export more than nine million tonnes of rice, although the rice export volume might not reach the 10 million tonnes mark.

This will result in an increase of the domestic rice price for crop to be harvest late this year to 8,500 baht per tonne in line with the intention of the governing National Council for Peace and Order, Mr Chookiat said.

He noted that most international buyers want to purchase the new crop and are not very interested to buy paddy from the government’s stocks. However, he expects the country to be able to clear 18 million tonnes of rice in stock within 3-4 years.

Meanwhile, Chareon Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said Thailand should be able to export more rice in the remaining months of this year and that the export volume should reach some 700,000-800,000 tonnes of rice per month due to high demand in the region, especially from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Mr Charoen said Thailand is also likely find rice exports less difficult as rival Vietnam does not have sufficient rice for export this year.

The Exporters Association president said that the Philippines will open bids for a supply of 500,000 tonnes of rice on August 27 and that it is a good opportunity for Thailand to try to clinch the import deal.

He noted that Thai rice prices remain lower than those of Vietnam.