India’s control on rice exports, new orders from Iraq a boon for Thai rice industry

The Thai Rice Exporters Association said on Sunday that thanks to these developments, Thailand’s total rice exports could reach 8 million tonnes.

Chukiat Opaswong, the association’s honorary chairman, said India’s recent ban on the export of broken rice and imposition of a 20 per cent duty on shipments of white and brown rice could benefit Thailand as it would bring the price of Indian rice close to that of Thai rice.

“This will encourage customers to switch to Thai rice due to superior quality and on-time delivery,” he said.

Chukiat added that Indian white rice, which went for US$340 per tonne, now costs $390-$400 per tonne, while Thai white rice is priced at $420 per tonne.

He said India has imposed these measures to curb exports because rice harvests in the country have plummeted due to a severe drought and there may not be enough rice for domestic consumption.

The association had initially estimated Thailand’s total rice export this year at 7.5 million tonnes, up from 6.1 million tonnes in 2021.

“With India’s new measures in effect, we expect their rice export to drop to 17 million tonnes from 21 million tonnes recorded last year. This missing ratio will go to other exporters like Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand,” he said.

“This could bring our rice exports this year up to 8 million tonnes worth approximately 150 billion baht.”

Chukiat said another factor contributing to the surge in rice export this year is that Iraq has resumed buying rice from Thailand since late last year. Iraq had banned the import of Thai rice for nearly nine years because it failed to meet standards.

“Thanks to the Commerce Ministry’s negotiations and continued marketing campaigns, Iraq is now importing as much as 100,000 tonnes of Thai rice monthly and will therefore contribute 1.2 million tonnes of total rice export this year,” Chukiat added.

As of August 20, Thailand has exported 5.35 million tonnes of rice worth 9.57 billion baht, up 46.46 per cent and 40.11 per cent year on year respectively.

Date: 26-Sep-2022