Thai Rice Exporters Association cut its projection for 2020 rice exports from 7.5 million tons to 6.5 million tons, the lowest volume in 20 years.
Pol Lt. Charoen Laothamatas, President of the Thai Rice Exporters Association said that in the first six months, Thailand shipped 3.14 million tons of rice, down 32.7% from the same period last year, with an export value of US$2.2 billion, down 12% year-on year.
Thai rice exports was likely to plunge due to many negative factors such as a strong baht continued drought cutting into production, he said.
Moreover, soft rice was popular among major importers like the Philippines and Malaysia but Thailand could not produce much enough to meet the demand.
Speaking about other factors, he said that the price of Thai white rice is US$ 460per ton, higher than that of its competitor, Vietnam by US$ 100. China has a large volume of rice stockpile with low demand for rice imports and it also exports more rice to Africa.
The coronavirus crisis also weakened consumers’ purchasing power, he added.
Rice exports is forecast to slow down in the second half of this year due to purchases of relatively high rice volume at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in April.
The president said the association downgraded its projection for 2020 rice exports from 7.5 million tons to 6.5 million tons worth US$4.2 billion, the lowest in two decades.
The association called for the government’s new economic team to solve the problem quickly to increase competitiveness, to curb the appreciation of Thai baht and to push ahead with the 10-year strategic rice plan. (TNA)