BANGKOK, 26 Feb 2014 The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has indicated Thailand’s 2014 rice exports would plunge in both Asian and global markets due mainly to low outputs, and high production cost.
The UTCC’s Foreign Trade Study Department Director Att Pisanwanich predicted that rice exports would not exceed 6.8 million tons this year, leading to a missing of up to 3.4 billion baht in export value. The volume shows a decrease of 2.8-7.1 percent from last year’s 7 million tons, making Thailand the third largest rice exporter after India and Vietnam.
Mr. Att said India is likely to export 9.3 million tons of rice this year while Vietnam should be able to export 7.8 million tons. He also said Thailand should keep an eye on Myanmar whose rice exports could reach 1.05 million tons, a massive jump from last year’s 750,000 tons.
Director Att expressed his concerns over the future of Thai rice exports as other rice suppliers in the region such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia all have stepped up their productivity while the number of customers of Thai rice is declining following poorer quality of the products.
Mr. Att also suggested the government spend 200 billion baht to establish a fund to subsidize 40% of the production cost of farmers, which could save the government’s spending of 100 billion baht a year. He claimed that the plan would be more viable than the trouble ridden rice mortgage program.