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Thai rice exports for first quarter up by 19.4%

Written by World News

Weakening baht sends Thai rice exports for the first quarter of this year up by 19.4%, from 2.06 million tonnes last year to 2.46 million.

The export value for the January-March period is estimated at 56.73 billion baht, or US$1.61 billion, a 49% increase from the same period last year, according to Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

Rice exports in March were, however, 10.4% lower than in February, with 716,619 tonnes, worth 17.33 billion baht, compared to 800,225 tonnes, worth 18.53 billion baht in February.

Exports of Hom Mali fragrant rice, broken rice and parboiled rice in February were lower than in January, particularly parboiled rice, which is expected to drop by 50% for the whole year, mainly due to declining demand from buyers and cheaper parboiled rice available from India.

Exports of Hom Mali rice in March registered a 4.5% drop from February, with 109,448 tonnes being exported to main markets, such as the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, China, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Thailand expects to export about 800,000 tonnes of all types of rice in April, as exporters still have commitments to fulfil their supply contracts to buyers in ASEAN and Japan, as well as some African countries, such has Angola, Mozambique and Ivory Coast, and Middle Eastern countries, such as Iraq.

Thailand’s 5% white rice export price is US$599/tonne, compared to US$579-US$583 for Vietnamese grain and US$578-US$582 for Pakistani rice.

Thai parboiled rice is priced at US$602/tonne, compared to India’s US$537-US$541 and Pakistan’s US$601-US$605/tonne.

During the first quarter, India still ranked as the world’s largest rice exporter, with 4.3 million tonnes, 28.1% less than the same period last year. Thailand was in second place, with 2.46 million tonnes, up 19.4%, while Vietnam came third, with 2.18 million tonnes and Pakistan fourth with 1.98 million tonnes.

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