Thailand fails to achieve rice export target

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BANGKOK, Jan 2 – Thailand’s Commerce Ministry has projected this year’s rice exports at no less than eight million tonnes despite a failure to achieve the export target at 8-8.5 million tonnes last year.

Surasak Riangkrul, director general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the department will penetrate present and new markets especially in South Africa, Russia and several more potential countries and hoped to achieve rice export growth of 19.8 per cent, or a total value of US$4.8 billion, this year.

The department will propose a new rice marketing plan to the next government before pushing forward with rice sales in the global market.

He admitted lower-than-projected rice exports between January and December 16 when 6.4 million tonnes were shipped out to foreign buyers, at a value of $4.208 billion or an average $657 per tonne.

The total export volume was short of the projected 8-8.5 billion tonnes owing to the high price of Thai rice compared to competitors and fierce competition in the global market, he said.