Volume of Thailand rice exports decreases 44% in first nine months this year

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Thai rice export figures decreased 44 percent in quantity and 32 percent in value from January to September 2012.

The export volume was recorded at 5 million tons with a value of Bt106 billion.

The Thai Rice Exporters Association reported the figures for Jan-Sep and compared them to the same period last year which saw the export quantity of 9 million tons with a value of Bt156 billion.

Such reduction came despite the price of exported rice at US$678/ton on average, 18 percent higher year-on-year.

During Jan-Sep, the top five importers of Thai rice were Nigeria at 904,000 tons, Iraq at 545,000 tons, Indonesia at 310,000 tons, Ivory Coast at 299,000 tons, and South Africa at 276,000 tons respectively.

In September alone, Thailand exported 540,000 tons of rice at Bt12 billion in value, while in August the figure was lower at 508,000 tons and Bt11 billion respectively.

According to the Thai Rice Exporters Association, Thailand is in an unfavorable position while in the normal rice market, compared to competitors from India, Pakistan and Vietnam, Thai rice prices are higher than its competitors by around US$120-140/ton.

Regarding the October tendency, the association forecast rice export would reach 600,000 tons. Thai rice exporters are to sell white rice to Iraq and Japan, according to previous bidding contracts.

Parboiled rice tends to be more popular among some buyers, particularly in Nigeria.

However, Thai rice exporters are still to face fierce competition from Vietnam and India in the last quarter.