Thailand regains world’s top rice exporter

Thailand has resumed its position as the world’s No. 1 rice exporter in 2014 with an export volume of over 10 million tonnes.

It was followed by India, with 7.5 million tonnes and Vietnam, with 6.2 million tonnes.

Thailand’s achievement was attributed to price adjustment to a level that is equal to those of its rivals. If the country wants to maintain its rice export, its government must stop all subsidy programmes to limit price hikes.

A report by the Association of Thai Rice Exporters, the price of Thai rice in the world market now stands at 390 USD per tonne while those in India and Vietnam are 420-430 USD and 400 USD per tonne, respectively.

Thailand had always maintained its No. 1 position in the world in terms of rice export for more than 50 years until the government of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra implemented a rice pledging scheme in which rice was purchased at a price 40 percent higher than the market level.

At present, Thailand has about 19.2 million tonnes of rice in stockpile. The country has planned to speed up the selling of the stockpiled rice in addition to seeking to sell more rice abroad via inter-governmental contracts.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Thailand is likely to maintain its position as the world’s largest rice exporter in 2015, with an estimated volume of nearly 11 million tonnes.-VNA

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