Thailand’s rice exports fell by 23% in the first quarter year-on-year, to 1.13 million tons, because of higher prices than those offered by competitors.
Thai Rice Exporters Association president Charoen Laothammatas said export value, from January to March, dropped to 21.8 billion baht, down 23.6% from the same period last year. Factors behind the high price of Thai rice include the strong baht, higher freight costs and lower domestic supply, caused by drought, which has lasted for two consecutive years.
He said Thai rice exports are expected to rise to 400,000 tons in April, compared with India, which exported nearly 2 million tons. The association expects rice export prospects to improve in the third and fourth quarters, hoping to see more supply in the rainy season.
Thailand is the world’s third largest rice exporter, after India, which sells rice at the lowest price, and Pakistan. If domestic output rises, domestic prices will fall, enabling Thailand to compete more effectively with India. (NNT)