BURIRAM – The Department of Foreign Trade has raised concerns for over production of Thai rice, despite confirmation that rice exports for this year will be able to hit a previous forecast of 9.5 million tons worth 5.05 billion US Dollars.
Foreign Trade Director-General Duangporn Rodphaya said that for the first 4 months of the year, the government successfully exported over 3.6 million tons of rice valued at 1.5 billion U.S. Dollars, and that it will definitely be able to reach its target at the current rate.
Nevertheless, Duangporn said Thai rice production is currently well over supply at roughly 30 million tons a year, while the domestic market only consumes 10 million tons of rice annually and foreign markets only require an additional 10 million tons from the kingdom.
With demand of just 20 million tons, the Director-General proposed that Thailand should only produce 25 to 27 million tons of rice annually, with the additional five million to ensure sufficient rice stocks if demand fluctuates.
Duangporn added that with oversupply comes falling product prices.
As Thailand becomes less able to maintain competitive prices due to rising living costs, the director-general said farmers should begin shifting their focus towards growing higher quality rice, while allocating areas for others crops, fruit or livestock.