Strong demand sends Thai rice export projections soaring

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Bangkok – Growing demand for Thai rice abroad has prompted an export estimate of 11 million tons this year with the Ministry of Commerce reporting 6.7 million tons already exported as of August 8.

Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) Director-General Adul Chotinisakorn reported that Thai rice sales are up in almost all foreign markets this year, especially in Indonesia where sales have increased 679 percent, Malaysia where sales are up 53 percent and the Philippines, where sales are up 25 percent. From the start of the year to August 8, Thailand has exported rice worth 3.425 billion USD, 9.85 percent up year-on-year. The upward trajectory of demand is predicted to continue through the latter half of 2018.

A delegation from China formed under a farm goods trade deal with Thailand is scheduled to travel to the Kingdom at the end of this month to negotiate the purchase of a second batch of 1 million tons of rice. A sixth stock of 100,000 tons of rice to be sent to China as part of the first batch of 1 million tons is currently pending while pricing is concluded.

The government is also preparing to enter an auction to sell the Philippines 500,000 tons of rice. The auction has been signaled to start early and the administration is aiming to sell about 250,000 tons via a Government to Government deal and the other 250,000 tons via general auctions joined by the private sector.