Vietnam and Thailand cooperate to boost rice prices in global market

  • The Thai government has announced that Thailand and Vietnam have reached an agreement to increase the price of domestically produced rice in the global market in the context of rising costs in rice production.

    Thai Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Chalermchai Sri-on said that while rice farmers are affected by rising production costs due to recent complicated developments, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the price of rice on the global market has increased disproportionately.

    In such context, the world’s second and third largest rice exporters, Vietnam and Thailand, will join hands to negotiate a reasonable rise in rice prices through pricing mechanisms on the global market.

    To implement the agreement, Thailand and Vietnam will work to create a government negotiation mechanism while trying to convince more rice exporting countries to join the initiative.

    Alongkorn Ponlaboot, Thailand’s chief rice price negotiator, said that promoting fairer prices is the mission and responsibility of all rice exporting countries. As climate change is affecting rice cultivation and rice production worldwide, all parties need to work together to ensure food security.

    Farmers will have to deal with unfair rice prices in the global market without help and cooperation between the parties.

    President of the Thai Rice Mills Affiliation Rangsan Sabaimuang also advocates fairer prices for all parties. Therefore, the cooperation between Thailand and Vietnam has become the first step to implement the above efforts.

    The President of the Thai Farmers’ Association Pramot Charoensin welcomed cooperation between Vietnam and Thailand on rice prices, but warned that India still has the largest voice in the pricing of rice in the global market as it is the largest rice exporter in the world.

    Therefore, if only Thailand and Vietnam sell rice at a higher price, rice importing countries may turn to India to seek supply.

  • Thai Rice Demand Predicted to Rise as Ukraine War Continues

  • The early morning sun peaks over the leafy Thai hillside as a crew of 20 migrant workers toss fresh rice seedlings into the soaked paddy fields, signifying the start of the rice season in northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai Province.

    Speed and agility are the driving forces for the group of male and female laborers, mostly from neighboring Myanmar, who get paid by the hectare to plant the crop, earning as much as $35 a day, but working dusk to dawn.

    The men and women have crossed into Thailand - some illegally - to earn a higher-than-average wage as word of rising rice production in the country translates into added days in the field.

    Amid concerns about wheat shortages in Russia and Ukraine, Thai economists say demand for rice is set to rise this year, driven by the war in Ukraine and its impact on global commodity prices.

    For Thailand, as the world’s third highest exporter of the crop - behind India and Vietnam - there is hope of added benefits for the workers.

    While analysts predict Europe’s wheat shortage will help increase profits for rice producers as a substitute crop, many in the labor force face other obstacles.

    “I want the government to help us farmers more, not just help the middleman, because we’re investing more money into this business than they are. Fertilizers are expensive, the cost of workers is high, and it’s not worth it,” says farmer Prajuk Kantiya, who oversees the work crew.

    A weak Thai baht currency has helped make rice export prices more attractive but the long-term sustainability of increased rice production raises questions.

    Economist Nisit Panthamit, a professor at Chiang Mai University, points out the need for a balanced plan and better technology that will encourage and support the next generation of farmers in Thailand beyond Ukraine’s crisis.

    “The income of the farmer should be better and going up in the long run, but the productivity, how can you reduce the risk and reduce the cost of production that will be a sustainable way for farmers to gain on the world levels?”

    Government research centers are exploring new technology to cut costs for Thailand’s agricultural sector.

    “We are trying to incorporate newer techniques in farming in our “Young Smart Farmer” project, such as by using drones and other equipment that can lower the cost of farming and make it more convenient for farmers to plant their crops,” explains Nipon Boonmee, a director at the Chiang Mai Rice Research Center.

    “We also have another project that focuses on experimenting with the environment's effects on different rice strains. For instance, we’re analyzing which species of rice can adapt the best to environmental changes and which days are the most suitable for planting because we understand that the world is changing,” Boonmee tells VOA.

    While the plans sound good for the long term, local farmers currently face more pressing issues.

    Added expenses, like rising fuel and fertilizer prices as a result of Russia’s invasion, along with the fallout from trade restrictions and price hikes have hit farmers’ wallets.

    “As the price of the rice goes up, the amount of money we use to invest in supplies, like gas and fertilizer, will also increase, which it has. A bag of fertilizer used to cost 600 baht ($20) now it’s 1,000 baht.($30) It’s no surprise that the cost of buying rice has increased,” Boonmee adds.

    Last month, Thailand’s prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, announced plans to talk with Vietnam to discuss the possibilities of a joint global price increase on rice, though questions remain as to who will benefit.

    “Even if the price goes up today, we cannot just immediately produce additional supplies,” explains economist Panthamit. “To make things that work in a sustainable way in the long term, we have to make sure to balance the supply and demand.”

    Still, Thailand’s rice exports are benefiting from a rebound in global demand as the coronavirus pandemic eases. That means for workers like Kantiya, who was unemployed because of the COVID-19 lockdown, the future looks brighter.

    “Even after my quarantine period, my post-symptoms made it hard for me to work,” Kantiya explains to VOA, as he rests at the edge of a newly planted field.

    “I think there will be a higher demand for rice supplies because of all the war that's going on and I’d be grateful if I could get a good price on rice.”

  • Thailand rice production, exports to rise

  • BANGKOK, THAILAND — The La Niña weather phenomenon will provide plentiful precipitation and water supplies for rice farmers in Thailand, yielding 20 million tonnes of rice in marketing year 2022-23, a 2% increase over 2021-22, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

    USDA’s FAS Bangkok Post is forecasting rice exports in 2022 at 8 million tonnes, up 31% from 6.1 million tonnes in 2021, due to larger exporter supplies. 

    “The weakening of the Thai baht has made Thai rice export prices attractive and competitive,” FAS said. “Traders anticipate increased demand for Thai rice for the remainder of 2022 as current prices for Thai rice are competitive to other exporting countries.”

    Wheat imports for 2022-23 have been revised down to 2.7 million tonnes, as milling wheat demand has decreased more than growing demand for feed wheat. Despite the reduction, 2022-23 wheat imports are still 8% higher than 2021-22. 

    FAS revised down milling wheat imports to 1.1 million tonnes, unchanged from the previous year despite an expected increase in the number of foreign tourists. 

    “Flour mills are cautious in building up inventories of milling wheat and flour due to concerns about high import prices of milling wheat,” FAS said. “In addition, bakeries have slowed production of bakery goods due to a 20% increase in production costs.” 

    FAS expects that imports of feed wheat will increase to 1.6 million tonnes, up 14% from the previous year. Traders are expecting strong demand for poultry exports in line with the economic recovery, which will lead to an increased demand for feed wheat and other feed ingredients in poultry production.

    In addition, the government of Thailand announced the temporary removal of import restrictions on feed wheat between May 10 and July 31, 2022, which could increase demand for feed wheat imports.

    The FAS forecast for 2021-22 corn production remains unchanged at 5.3 million tonnes, down 4% 2020-21 due to reduced off-season corn acreage. The forecast for 2021-22 corn imports remains unchanged at 1.5 million tonnes, down 22% from 2020-21. Local feed mills are likely to use locally produced corn and broken rice for feed production. 

  • Rice exports tipped to hit 8m tonnes

  • Thailand's rice exports are expected to exceed 8 million tonnes this year, driven by the weakness of the baht and rising demand in the global market, according to veteran trader Chookiat Ophaswongse. Mr Chookiat, an honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said Thai rice shipments reached 1.5 million tonnes in the first two months of this year, compared with 900,000 tonnes in the same period of 2021. "If Thailand can ship an average of 700,000 tonnes a month, the total export volume will likely be at least 8 million tonnes this year, well over the 7 million tonnes the association forecast," he said. "Export values are estimated at 130 billion baht, up from 110 billion last year."
     
    Mr Chookiat said Thai rice export prices are now competitive as the baht weakens, partially because of the ongoing war. Thai rice prices are now close to those of Vietnamese grains, he said.
  • Thailand expected to exceed rice export target of 7mn tonnes this year

  • BANGKOK: Thailand expects to export more than 7 million tonnes of rice this year, exceeding its initial target, an exporters association said on Monday. Rice exports are expected to be boosted by competitive prices due to the weak Thai baht, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association. Thailand, currently the world’s third-largest rice exporter after India and Vietnam, is expected to export about 2 million tonnes of rice in the first quarter of 2022, he said. “If we can keep this up, we could possibly reach 8 million tonnes of rice exports this year,” Chookiat said. Asia rice: Vietnam prices hit 3-month peak on firm demand The country has shipped a higher volume to markets in the Middle East such as Iraq, and observed consistent demand from African markets, he said. Asian markets are also turning to Thai rice over Vietnamese because of competitive prices, Chookiat said. Thailand’s 5% broken rice was trading at around $410 to $428 per tonne last week, similar to Vietnam’s rice of the same grade at $415-$420.
  • Chasing climate-ready glutinous rice for food security in Thailand and Laos

  • Chasing climate-ready glutinous rice for food security in Thailand and Laos

     
    food security in thailand, glutinous rice varieties

    Professor Apichart Vanavichit, Director of the Rice Science Center offers insight into how the next generation of glutinous rice varieties are critical to food security in Thailand and Laos

    Rice can be broadly classified based on cooking properties as glutinous and non-glutinous. Cooked glutinous rice is sticky, translucent, and chewy with a sweet aftertaste, while non-glutinous rice is fluffier, and less sticky and sweet. Furthermore, Glutinous rice contains more amylopectin, whereas non-glutinous rice contains more amylose.

    Origin of glutinous rice

    There are three groups of glutinous rice-based on grain sizes, small (japonica), medium (upland), and long slender (indica) grains. The origin of glutinous rice has become a hot topic for discussion by evolutionists who speculate that glutinous rice has two roots. Glutinous rice has been grown in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), especially in Laos, for 4,000 – 6,000 years, and at least 2,000 years in Yunnan, China, by Tai ethnic groups. In particular, ethnic groups in Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos helped conserve upland rice diversity. Furthermore, Laos has contributed the most remarkable genetic diversity in glutinous rice to the International Rice Genebank at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

    The key to food security

    Laos and Thailand are the only countries that consume glutinous rice as primary stable food. Laos consumes glutinous rice at 171 kg per year, the highest per capita consumption globally. In Thailand, glutinous rice is vital for household consumption in the north and northeast at 125-155 kg per capita per year. Thai farmers typically grow side-by-side, glutinous rice for household consumption and Hommali rice for cash. The current consumption of glutinous rice in Thailand has been on the rise recently due to the popularity of the northeastern cuisines in restaurants and street foods among Thais and tourists. From 2021 to 2026, the demand for glutinous rice is increasing healthily.

    Sticky rice is not just sticky

    Glutinous rice provides high amylopectin for the food and beverage industries. China is the major importer of glutinous rice from Thailand and Vietnam, mainly for alcohol production. Unlike such industrial utilisation, glutinous rice cooking is a delicacy that starts from rice cooking. Glutinous rice cannot be appropriately done in an ordinary automatic rice cooker but depends on traditional streaming practices in a unique bamboo basket. Different glutinous rice varieties are varied considerably on cooking qualities such as degrees of stickiness, chewiness, hardness, and fragrance.glutinous rice varieties, food security Thailand

    Cultivation of glutinous rice in Thailand

    Thailand is the world’s top glutinous rice producer on 3.17 Mha, generating about 7-7.5 MT and exporting about 7% annually. RD6, the most popular glutinous rice in Thailand and Laos, is widely grown in the northeast of Thailand. RD6 and Thai Hommali Rice (KDML105 and RD15) are the three most cultivated rice varieties occupying lowland rain-fed areas, constituting about 70% in northeastern Thailand. Fluctuations in rainfall distribution and poor soil fertility are critical constraints in the northeastern lowland rain-fed. Originated from gamma radiation of KDML105, RD6 is as susceptible to most biotic and abiotic stresses similar to the progenitor. Resilience to infertile soil, mild drought, salinity, and acid sulfate soil benefit high-quality Thai Hommali Rice and RD6 (Bureau of Rice Research and Development, Thailand Rice Department, 2010). Nonetheless, RD6 has still been the most popular glutinous rice in Thailand and Laos because of its soft-sticky and perfume quality of cooked rice.

    New waxy rice development

    Grain yield of glutinous RD6 and Thai Hom Mali Rice is as low as 2.32 t/ha due to their genetic makeups, soil infertility, and the lack of irrigation system in the main northeast area in Thailand. Traditional Thai RD6 and Lao TDK1 are tall, photoperiod sensitive, and susceptible to multiple biotic and abiotic stresses. RD6 has superior cooking quality with a strong aroma. Still, it is very vulnerable to blast and bacterial blight diseases, easily lodged, and intolerant to flood and drought, significant production constraints in the lowland rain-fed regions. To be accepted by farmers and consumers, new rice strains are improved to resist biotic and abiotic stresses and hold similar cooked rice quality as RD6 for prolonged softness, stickiness, chewiness, and fragrance. Because cooking glutinous rice is time-consuming, preservation is convenient for farmers and workers to consume the leftover later. Therefore, prolonged soft-stickiness is a critical characteristic of cooked glutinous rice to prevent staleness. This cooked rice quality is the hallmark for the genetic improvement of glutinous rice for household consumption in Thailand. By comprehensive gene pyramiding developed by the research team at the Innovative Plant Biotechnology and Precision Agriculture (APBT), newly improved RD6 varieties are designed to resist flash flooding, bacterial leaf blight, leaf blast, brown planthopper and gall-midge. In particular, focusing on canopy architecture such as reducing plant stature, sturdy stem, and early flowering is essential for the next generation of glutinous rice varieties. New outstanding glutinous rice varieties targeting the northeast area are released for farmers. The first famous glutinous rice is Thanyasirin, a photoperiod sensitive variety with superior cooking quality similar to RD6 but withstanding lodging. It is outstanding in its resistance to a broad spectrum of blast strains. The next variety, Nan 59, is a semi-dwarf photoperiod sensitive variety with the same cooking quality as RD6 and additional characteristics such as resistance to blast and bacterial leaf blight. Nan 59 has been the favourite variety because of its high yielding in a sustainable low production cost. The newest generation named Hom Naga is outstanding for early flowering with good cooking quality, tolerance to flash flooding and drought, and resistance to blast and bacterial blight. Now farmers can grow Hom Naga two times yearly. With assistance from the breeding team in Thailand, improving TDK1 for resistance to flash flooding, bacterial leaf blight, leaf blast, brown planthopper, and grain yield has been accomplished by the close collaboration between Thailand and Laos. The new high-yielding TDK8 was released for farmers in Laos. It is aromatic, has good cooking quality with short stature, early maturing (130-135 days), and most of all, resistance to lodging and leaf blast disease. These varieties have helped Thai and Lao farmers improve grain yields at low inputs that allow more for their households, earn more income through higher yields than traditional varieties, and are more able to withstand the impacts of climate change.

    Cost-benefit of new varieties

    The selection of many tailor-made RD6 varieties, such as Thanya Sirin and Nan 59, guided farmers and stakeholder communities in a farmers’ participatory program. Such a tactic induced farmers to voluntarily adopt new glutinous rice varieties and perform good farmers’ safe seed practices for sustainability and benefit-sharing among farmers, breeders and rice millers. For the popular Thanya Sirin, the economic benefits are mainly to farmers, in terms of increasing their revenue from yield enhancement both for consumption and sales and reducing production costs. The present value of net benefits in 2018 was 150 million baht. The benefit-cost ratio was seven times over the expense, for one baht of research investment, seven-baht return. In conclusion, the investment in glutinous rice breeding is economically worth it and has already generated high benefits for society. glutinous rice varieties, food security thailand Acknowledgement These projects have been supported by the Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture (ISA), Cluster and Program Management Office (CPMO), National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) (Grant number P-18-52711) and NSRF via the Program Management Unit for Human Resources and Institutional Development, Research, and Innovation (Grant No. B16F630088).
  • New Thai rice varieties lined up to boost exports

  •                   Thailand plans to develop 12 new commercial rice varieties by 2024 to boost rice export competitiveness. Speaking after an award ceremony for new commercial rice varieties, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the ministry set up a war room to accelerate Thai rice development and increase exports, for both existing and new markets. Of the 12 new varieties, Mr Jurin said four are hard-texture grains, four are soft texture, two are Thai fragrant rice and two are high-nutrition types. These varieties are in high demand among global consumers, he said.
  • Thailand rice exports expected to rise sharply

  • Rice Paddy Harvest BANGKOK, THAILAND — Thailand is forecast to export 8 million tonnes of rice in the 2021-22 marketing year, up 31% from the previous year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Attractive Thai prices, driven by the weakening of the Thai baht, are the reason for the sharp increase in exports, the report said. Rice production is projected to increase year-on-year from 18.8 million tonnes to 20.8 million tonnes, the USDA said. The report noted that the country’s wheat imports are expected to decline by 13% in 2021-22. Reduced domestic demand for milling and feed wheat due to a slow economic recovery from the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and high import prices for feed wheat are the primary reasons for the decline. An even sharper drop in corn imports is expected, as the USDA forecasts a 17% decrease due reduced demand for swine feed caused by the African swine fever outbreak. “Post forecasts swine feed demand to decline by 30%, in line with swine production shrinking from 19 to 20 million heads to 12 million to 13 million heads,” the USDA said.
  • Thailand’s rice exports projected to grow almost 15 percent this year

  • Thailand’s rice exports have been forecast to rise by 14.8 percent this year to 7 million tonnes driven by sufficient water supply. Thailand’s rice exports projected to grow almost 15 percent this year hinh anh 1 Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s rice exports have been forecast to rise by 14.8 percent this year to 7 million tonnes driven by sufficient water supply. According to the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA)'s report, the nation exported 6.11 million tonnes of grain last year, up 6.68 percent from 5.73 million tonnes 2020. Its export value totaled at 108 billion THB (3.25 billion USD), down by 7.14 percent from 116 billion THB in 2020. TREA President Charoen Laothammatas said in 2022, higher demand is anticipated thanks to a global economic recovery, while a favourable foreign exchange rate should make Thai rice competitive. For the 2021/2022 harvest season, the association expects the production to increase to 30-32 million tonnes of paddy, up from 27-28 million tonnes in the 2020/2021 season. A widespread drought is unlikely this year, as happened two years ago, Charoen said. Given the ample water supply, he added second-crop rice production is also expected to increase. He said the container shortage and lack of shipping space causing relatively higher freight rates are expected to remain key risk factors for rice exports. TREA expects Thailand’s rice exports in January will tally 700,000 tonnes, slightly down from 729,138 tonnes worth 12.5 billion THB in December 2021.
  • Emerging Riceberry Rice

  • Professor Apichart Vanavichit, Director at the Rice Science Center in Thailand, highlights the attempt to develop rice that directly benefits well-being

    Rice, a staple food for the majority of countries, has always carried health risks. Eating rice in excess of moderation can cause risks particularly when it comes to sugar in the blood. Rice is actually the basis of 50% of daily energy needs for the population of the world. Did you know that purple rice used to be considered such a delicacy, it was only served to Emperors and used as a base for foods made to be given to spirits? Rice has a rich, fascinating history, which rises up to meet the present day with advice and insight. In a pioneering project, Professor Vanavichit is part of a push to create an easy-to-grow, healthy strain of rice. Wholegrain, pigmented rice like Riceberry rice is one of the most likely sources of healthy nutrition. However, when it comes to wholegrain rice, it can be difficult to balance taste with nutritional and health benefits. While the rice is infinitely better for the human body, it also often lacks the aromatic appeal of a classic, white rice – which is also melded into traditions across the world as the norm. To change a norm this deep-rooted, the new form of rice has to manage taste, health benefits and be as easily accessible as existing forms of rice. The intricate science behind how Riceberry rice impacts human health is at the forefront of food technology, which will shape the future of diabetes and hypertension management if it can be successfully introduced to global markets. In addition, rice growing usually requires a heady mix of chemicals – contributing to climate change, as the demand for this product remains intrinsically high. Organic forms of rice, while benefitting future health, can also protect the Earth from the need for excessive pollution.
  • Thailand aims to ship 7 mln tonnes of rice in 2022 as outlook improves

  •   Thailand targets 14.6% increase in rice exports in 2022 * Paddy production seen up 18% on better growing conditions * Pressure from baht, container shortages expected to ease BANGKOK, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Thailand has set a rice export target at 7 million tonnes this year, 14.6% higher than in 2021, an exporters body said on Wednesday. The world's third-largest rice exporter shipped 6.11 million tonnes of the grain last year and 5.7 million tonnes in 2020, the lowest volume in two decades. Thai rice exports should benefit this year from a more stable baht making prices more competitive and better weather conditions, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association. Thailand is expected to produce 19.5 million tonnes of paddy this year, 18% up on last year's 16.5 million tonnes, he said. "It's a brighter outlook this year than the last two, in which drought undermined our production and the baht was too strong," Chookiat told Reuters. A shipping container crunch and higher global freight rates, which affected last year's exports, had also started to ease, he said. "We should overtake Vietnam this year and become the world's second-largest exporter," he said. Thai rice export volumes declined for three consecutive years after hitting a record high of 11.6 million tonnes in 2017. Thailand recorded its lowest export volume in two decades in 2020 and slipped to third place in global rankings after being overtaken by Vietnam, which shipped half a million tonnes more of the grain that year. A global economic recovery should also boost Thai rice sales, as customers gain greater purchasing power, Chookiat said. Thai rice is trading around $20 per tonne higher than similar Vietnamese grades. "In the past two years, people just bought whatever was the cheapest," he said. "But now they have more power to choose better quality rice, even if it's slightly more expensive." Vietnam exported 6.24 million tonnes of rice in 2021. (Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Additional reporting and writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Martin Petty and Ed Davies)
  • CRF all set to market fragrant rice in European countries

  • The Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) sets a plan of bold promotion of Cambodia’s fragrant rice in some European countries in a bid to spread out the quality of milled rice to the bloc’s consumers. The plan has been prepared amid the EU ending the three-year import tariff on the country’s long-grain white rice last week.
     
    The CRF sets a plan to join exhibitions in the EU countries to push direct sales to customers, said CRF president Song Saran. “Per our strategy, we will join exhibitions to sell directly to customers. Now, the rice import tariff has ended. We will go to sell and promote our rice directly to regain support,” Saran said. CRF plans to promote fragrant rice in France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and other countries such as the US, Australia and China’s Hong Kong, he said, adding that the promotion is made based on the CRF’s budget available and support from development partners. The CRF also pushes farmers to select quality rice seeds to plant so that they produce quality rice for export. The CRF plans to promote the quality rice seed to farmers to provinces in the main rice production province around the Tonle Sap Lake, Saran said.
     
    The EU market accounted for more than 50 percent of Cambodia’s total milled rice export in 2016 and this amount dropped sharply to around 20 percent last year, mainly due to the import tariff on Cambodia’s long-grain white rice. With the import tariff removed, Cambodia expects to see at least 200,000 tons of rice exports to the EU this year. “Rice export reaches about 150,000 tonnes to the EU, so after the import tariff ends, we expect to see at least 200,000 tonnes by this year or up to 250,000 tonnes according to high demand of Cambodia’s rice,” Saran said optimistically. Currently, China is the biggest market for the country’s rice export, followed by the EU.
  • Thailand’s crop is projected to be up nearly 0.95 million tons from 2019/20

  • Economic Research Service | Situation and Outlook Report by USDA
  • Thailand Increases 2017 Rice Export Goal to 10 Million T: Exporter Body

  • Thailand Increases 2017 Rice Export Goal to 10 Million T: Exporter Bodyi
    Bangkok. Thailand's rice exporters expected the export volume of the grain to reach 10 million tonnes this year, higher than an earlier target of 9.5 million tonnes. The world's second biggest rice exporter after India, exported 9.63 million tonnes of rice in 2016, according to figures from the Commerce Ministry, which also targets exports of 10 million tonnes this year. Thailand has exported 5 million tonnes of rice so far this year, the ministry has said.
    Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, told Reuters the goal was raised due to strong demand from Bangladesh and the Philippines. "Demand for Thai rice still looks strong in the second half of the year," Chookiat said, adding that Thailand should be able to ship out 850,000 tonnes of rice per month. Thailand expects to sell 200,000 tonnes of parboiled rice to Bangladesh when its delegation comes to negotiate next month, Chookiat said. Bangladesh has emerged as a major importer of the staple grain this year as it grapples with depleted stocks and record local prices following flash floods. The Philippines also said it would issue a tender to import 250,000 tonnes of rice from private traders, including Thailand, ahead of the lean harvest season and the typhoon months. Export prices for Thai rice have been rising steadily since March, when traders started loading ships and supply started dwindling ahead of an off-season harvest expected around August. Quotes for benchmark 5 percent broken rice stood at $450-$460 a tonne, FOB Bangkok, last Thursday, touching levels unseen since August 2013. In comparison, Vietnam, Thailand's main competitor, was trading its rice of the same grade at $400-$420 a tonne. India's 5 percent broken parboiled rice was quoted at $424-$427 per tonne. But the price gap was no cause for concern, as Thai rice has a higher quality, Chookiat said. "When the economy is good, people like to buy higher quality rice, unlike in the past few years," Chookiat said. According to the government's latest figures, Thailand still holds about 800,000 tonnes of "old rice" left over from the previous government's rice-buying scheme, which it can export to African countries. Demand is also returning from the Middle East, including Iraq and Iran, Chookiat said. Iran has recently bought 200,000 tonnes of Thai rice but is expected to buy more, he said. Regular buyers of Thai rice in Asia include China, Malaysia, and Japan. "As long as our price stands at around $450 per tonne, we're okay," he said. Reuters
  • Asia Rice-Strong demand helps prices extend gains

  • * Prices rise in Thailand, India, Vietnam * Bangladesh seals import deal with Vietnam By My Pham VIETNAM, June 15 Asian rice prices rose this week, extending gains from the week before on strong demand from importers including Bangladesh and the Philippines, traders said on Thursday. In Thailand, benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 was quoted at $450-$457 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, up from $440-$457 last week. Thai rice prices have been rising steadily since March, when traders started loading ships, and touched levels unseen since August 2013 last week. Exporters continue to buy the grain from rice millers to fulfill shipments, with demand from Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq and the Philippines keeping prices high, traders said. "Prices are still rising and haven't stopped," a Bangkok-based trader said. "Supply is low and exporters are still buying stocks for shipment, and global demand is still high." The Thai off-season crop is expected to arrive from around August to September. In Vietnam, the 5-percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 was quoted at $410 a tonne, FOB Saigon, up from $395-$400 last week and the highest level since November 2014. Vietnam's new harvest season begins late-June, traders said. Rice prices in the country have increased since early May on expectation of stronger demand from foreign rice importers amid limited supply. Bangladesh will import 200,000 tonnes of white rice at $430 a tonne, and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $470 a tonne from Vietnam in a government-to-government deal, said Ataur Rahman, additional secretary at the food ministry. The rice will be shipped in 60 days, with the first consignment expected to arrive in 15 days, Rahman said. Bangladesh is also in talks with Thailand and India to import rice to cool record-high local prices at a time when state rice stocks are at 10-year lows. The Philippines has said it would issue a tender next month to import 250,000 tonnes of the grain from Thailand and Vietnam, and possibly also India. In India, 5 percent broken parboiled rice prices RI-INBKN5-P1 jumped by $7.00 per tonne to $422-$425 on a rally in overseas prices and good demand from buyers in Africa. "Earlier, buyers were shifting to other suppliers as Indian rice was expensive. Now, since prices have risen in Thailand and Vietnam, we are equally competitive," said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. India's non-basmati rice exports in April fell 18.5 percent from a year ago to 475,050 tonnes due to a stronger rupee. "We have to raise prices considering (the) rising rupee and tight supplies of paddy rice," said another exporter based in Kakinada. The rupee has risen 5.7 percent so far in 2017 and is trading near its highest level in 21 months. A strong rupee trims returns for exporters. (Reporting by My Pham in HANOI, Patpicha Tanakasempipat in BANGKOK, Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI, and Ruma Paul in DHAKA; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
  • Concerns over rice stockpile release by Thailand

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    PHNOM  PENH, BANGKOK (Khmer Times/Bangkok Post) – Cambodian rice millers and exporters are strongly concerned that Thailand’s plan to release 4.32 million tonnes of state rice stocks by September, driven by a sharp surge in global rice demand, could depress prices of the vital grain on commodity markets. “When Thailand sells such a large part of its stockpile on the open market it will have a knock-on effect on prices and in turn also affect the price of Cambodian milled rice exports,” Hun Lak, vice president of the Cambodia Rice Federation, told Khmer Times. Mr Lak said that Cambodia, unlike Thailand, lacked large warehouses to store rice paddy and release the grain when market prices were high. “The longest time we can keep our stocks is three to four months and after that it gets spoilt,” he added. Thailand is the world’s second-biggest rice exporter after India and still has stocks of about 5 million tonnes left over from a rice-buying scheme under the previous government that paid farmers well above market rates. The current military government has been trying to sell off stockpiles from the scheme through several state auctions since it took power in 2014. It has so far sold 12.74 million tonnes, worth 114 billion baht ($3.31 billion), the Thai Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday. It said it will be able to offload the remaining rice by the end of the year. Bangladesh wants to buy around 250,000 to 300,000 tonnes of 5-percent white rice immediately for humanitarian relief efforts in the wake of Cyclone Mora that has inundated most of the country. It plans to increase rice imports to 500,000 tonnes by the end of the year and is looking at Thailand and Vietnam to meet its emergency needs. Rice demand is similarly expected to go up in the humanitarian response in Sri Lanka, which is also reeling from the aftermath of Cyclone Mora that triggered floods and landslides. Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice (Cambodia), said Thailand could afford to sell its rice stockpile when prices were high because rice farmers were given subsidies by the government to cover their production costs. “Production costs in Cambodia are high because we are growing good quality rice,” Mr Saran said. Because of this, he said, Cambodia’s rice exports find it hard to compete in the commodities market. But not all of Thailand’s 4.32 million tonnes of state rice stocks are of good quality. About 2.5 million tonnes are mostly low-quality and decaying rice fit only for industrial use. Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said Thailand’s good-quality rice stocks in the state stockpile are about to be depleted. Because of this, Amru Rice’s Mr Saran is urging the Cambodia Rice Federation to find more markets for kingdom’s high quality jasmine rice exports. “Since our production costs are high and we should consider finding other markets which Thailand does not reach so that we can maintain our rice quality and get premium prices for it,” he added.  Cambodia’s milled rice exports were close to 170,000 tonnes in the first three months of this year, an increase of three percent over the same period last year, official figures showed. The rise came after exports in March fell by 16 percent and exports in January and February rose 10 percent and 17 percent respectively. China is the biggest single-country market for Cambodia’s milled rice, and imported about 67,000 tonnes in the three months. France and Poland ranked second and third in Cambodia’s milled rice markets, importing 21,000 and 12,000 tonnes respectively.
  • PRICE OF THAI RICE REACHES 425 US DOLLARS PER TON ON GLOBAL MARKET

  • PNECO600530001001101.jpg BANGKOK, 31 May 2017 (NNT) - The Thai Rice Exporters Association has revealed that the price of Thai rice has reached 425 US dollars per ton, due its believed to the decreasing supply of rice on the global market  Honorary President of Thai Rice Export Association, Chukiat Opaswong said today prices of rice worldwide have been increasing as global rice supplies are declining. Thailand has been able to raise the price from 365 dollars to 425 dollars per ton over the past two months.  Even though Vietnamese rice is sold at a price 45 dollars cheaper, demand for Thai rice continues to grow especially in Iraq, Iran and African countries.  Chief Executive Officer of the Rice Trader Ltd Jeremy Swinger expressed his belief that the price of Thai rice would not decline because of the stable demand. The price is even likely to go up by another 20 dollars in the next three months.  Despite the growing demand, Thai rice exports to Hong Kong have declined. Kenneth Chan, Chairman of the Hong Kong Rice Merchants Association, has suggested Thailand do more to promote Jasmine rice among Chinese consumers because Jasmine rice is generally more popular than other strains.
  • Prayut demands clear-out of rice stockpiles before end of his regime

  • The Nation (Thailand)

    PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the Commerce Ministry to accelerate sales of the rice in its stockpiles within the term of his military-led regime, as storage costs have been exceeding Bt1 billion a month. Speaking yesterday at the Thailand Rice Convention in Bangkok, an international event aimed at knowledge exchange and discussions on developing the rice industry, Prayut stressed the need to sell off the entire rice stockpile, which had been putting pressure of Thai rice prices for two to three years. To date, the Commerce Ministry has sold about 13 million tonnes of the 18 million tonnes of rice it had in stock, worth more than Bt100 billion. Prayut partially blamed corruption for the low revenues earned from sales of rice rather than the costs entailed by the last elected governments rice-pledging programme, while legal cases arising from that programme drag on in several courts. The other reason the government must expedite sales of the rice remaining in its warehouses is that its existence has severely distorted the normal rice trade mechanism. Having rice in storage has cost the government more than Bt1 billion per month. The key target is to release rice in stock within this governments term so that it will not have to shoulder this burden further and the [rice] market mechanism will return to normal, Prayut said. The next target is to add value to Thai rice and make Thailand the leader in rice trade with internationally recognised innovative rice products and an efficient rice-market mechanism, he said. A strategic plan for the rice industry is conclude in the Prayut regimes 20-year national strategy. It includes production restructuring, reduction of rice-farming areas, a balance between production for local consumption and for export, and making farmers more self-sufficient for sustainability. Clustering of community enterprises for rice innovation is also encouraged in line with the regimes Thailand 4.0 policy, and the next step is to push for concrete plans. On the regional front, Prayut said Thailand was trying to connect its plans for the rice market with those of neighbouring countries particularly Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), given their proximity in culture and lifestyle. Collaboration will yield more benefits than competition, and this collaboration must embrace the whole system extending from the public to private and business sectors, he said. CLMV pays high attention on a transformation from rice grown for sales to rice with innovation for higher rice prices, while changing farming crops suitable for land. Prayut said farmers should change their mindsets to see opportunities in consumer trends. Outstanding products such as bakery materials, cosmetics and skincare products must be developed to serve the mass market. If this strategy is successful, Thailand will become the leader in the rice market as targeted and, under the 20-year national strategy, drive itself out of the middle-income trap, he said. In regard to Thailands G2G with China, no progress has been made yet, Prayut said, adding the problem arose in difficulties in negotiation in other matters an that affected the rice trade negotiation. Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said development of the rice industry would focus on linking research and innovation with commercial products, both food and non-food. Rice prices have been rising after her ministry expedited the sale of stockpiled rice and there is about 2 million tonnes left, she said. The Thailand Rice Convention brought together representatives of the public and private sectors from more than 40 countries including China, Japan, Malaysia, Iran and South Africa. During the event, the government met with Iraqs trade minister on opportunities for export of Thai rice to that country. It also met with Vietnams deputy minister of industry and trade to discuss bilateral cooperation. The convention was also a venue for business matching between Thai exporters of rice and rice products and importers. Today, foreign representatives were to visit the Royal Chitralada Project involving the processing of Thai rice into innovative products. The Thailand Rice Convention, which began on Sunday and ends today, aims to promote Thailand as the worlds rice-trade centre and showcase Thai rice innovation. It is hosted by the Commerce Ministrys Department of Foreign Trade in cooperation with other organisations in both the public and private sectors. Highlights of the convention include the multidimensional facets of innovation within Thailands rice industry. The Thailand Rice Convention 2017 comes under the theme Rice Plus, as it aims at showcasing Thailands potential in the global arena for quality rice trade and production, Apiradi said. Various innovative rice products are presented, showing how far the Thai rice industry has advanced in its technological development and technological integration. Reaping the benefits of the technological revolution, all parties in the industry have benefited from tremendous value addition to rice. This corresponds with the governments Thailand 4.0 economic model striving to transform the Thai economy into a value-based economy.  
  • TRC 2017 showcases Thailand’s potential in global arena for quality rice trade and production

  • “Thailand Rice Convention 2017” (TRC 2017) – a premier international forum for rice – is currently being held by the Foreign Trade Department of the Commerce Ministry, in collaboration with related organisations from both the public and private sectors.

    Highlights of the convention include the multi-dimensional facets of innovation of Thailand’s rice industry. Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said the event, which ends on Tuesday, was being held under the theme “Rice Plus” as it was aimed at showcasing Thailand’s potential in the global arena for quality rice trade and production.  Various innovative rice products are being presented, showing how far the Thai rice industry has advanced in its technological development and technological integration. 
    Reaping the benefits of the technological revolution, all parties in the industry have benefited from tremendous value addition to rice, which corresponds with the government’s “Thailand 4.0” economic model striving to transform the Thai economy into a value-based economy, she said.
    On Monday, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha chaired the opening ceremony of TRC 2017 and delivered a keynote speech on “Thai Rice Trade and Its Future”, outlining government policies towards the sustainable development of the Thai rice industry.  The convention welcomes more than 1,000 participants from over 40 nations, including producers, importers and product developers, as well as delegates from major trading partners, namely China, Japan, Malaysia, Iraq, Iran, Spain, the UK, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.  Also attending the event are experts and academics, farmers, and media agencies.  On this occasion, the Iraqi minister of planning and acting minister of trade, Salman Ali Hasan Al-Jumaili, and his delegation comprising executives of the Grain Board – the Iraqi government’s official body responsible for rice imports – held an important meeting with Apiradi to jointly discuss opportunities for future rice trade and bilateral cooperation.  Similar discussions were held between the Thai minister and Tran QuocKhanh, Iraq’s deputy minister of industry and trade. On Tuesday, international delegates will participate in post-conference field trips to sites related to rice and rice innovation, including the Royal Chitralada Project, which is considered Thailand’s first pioneering laboratory for rice development.  Since its establishment, extensive researches have been carried out at the project to study rice cultivation, milling, the pros and cons of different types of rice barns, and the breeding of new rice varieties.  Alternatively, participants can choose to visit Choheng Factory, a long-established producer of rice products such as glutinous rice flour, rice vermicelli, and rice noodles; or Pathawin Company – a respected producer and supplier of cosmetics to consumers both in Thailand and abroad.
  • Thailand to clear government stock rice for sales

  • BANGKOK, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Thai government will clear all of the rice stockpile, some 5 million tons to increase rice prices for the long term, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday. Delivering a speech during Thailand Rice Convention 2017, Prayut said some 13 million of a total 18 million tons of rice in government stock has been released to the markets, securing some 112 billion baht (3.29 billion U.S. dollars) in sales over the last two to three years. The Thai government, according to the prime minister, has had to bear the storage cost of more than 1 billion (29 million dollars) per month. "We will clear all of the remaining stock in this administration in order to increase rice prices for the long term," Prayut said, adding they have made a five-year rice strategy plan to improve the quality of Thai rice. He said large volumes of the rice have been traded in government-to-government dealings with major buying countries such as China, Iran, Iraq, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. "Now we export 10 million tons of rice and earn some 150 billion baht (4.41 billion dollars) yearly as more than 4 million families in the country are growing rice," Prayut said. Meanwhile, he reiterated that farmers have been strongly suggested to do large-scale rice farming in order to reduce producing costs, raise bargaining powers in dealing with traders and secure an increased price in their own favor.
  • Thailand to open second rice auction in 2017

  • Illustrative image (Source: AFP/VNA)
     Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s government has announced a plan to organise the second rice auction in 2017 with a total volume of up to 1.82 million tonnes. Interested buyers could examine the rice’s quality before bidding on May 24. The result of the auction is scheduled to be announced in the first week of June. The auction is expected to attract many businesses as it is the final batch of rice put for sale this year, said Duangporn Rodphaya, Director General of the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Foreign Trade.   To date, the Thai government has stocked 4.82 million tonnes of rice, much lower than the volume of 18.7 million tonnes between 2011-2014. A total of 11.7 million tonnes of rice was sold by auction for 112 billion THB from May 2014 to mid April 2017. In the first five months of this year, Thailand exported 4.1 million tonnes of rice, up 9 percent, earning 1.74 billion USD, up 6 percent against last year.-VNA
  • Asia Rice: Thai, Vietnam Prices Hit Multi-Month High; India Stays Sluggish

  • Bangkok/Hanoi. Rice prices hit multi-month peak in Thailand and Vietnam this week on export prospects, while high rates in India kept buyers at bay, traders said on Thursday (18/05). Thai benchmark 5-percent broken rice rose this week to $385-$411 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, from $387-$392 last week. At a mean of $398 per tonne, Thai rice prices hit their highest in nine months, Reuters data showed. Traders said as Thai exporters are still buying stocks to fill shipments, heightened expectations of more demand from some of the world's top importers also helped prices to surge.
    Last week, Bangladesh's state grains buyer said they will import 600,000 tonnes of rice. It has already issued two tenders for a total of 100,000 tonnes of rice. "Exporters continue to sell, ships are still being loaded, and big buyers are now coming in," said a Bangkok-based trader. "If buyers keep purchasing, prices will keep increasing," said another trader from Bangkok. Vietnam's 5-percent broken rice was quoted at $365-370 a tonne, FOB Saigon, up from $355-$360 last week, following the trend in Thailand. Averaging $367.50 per tonne, Vietnamese rice prices are at an 11-month high, according to Reuters data. Anticipating more demand from leading importing countries, Vietnam traders are storing rice in order to sell later as prices advance. "People expect demand to jump further so they are not rushing to sell now," said a Ho Chi Minh-based trader. Vietnam shipped an estimated 1.84 million tonnes of the grain between January and April, down 8.8 percent from the same period last year. Thailand and Vietnam are the world's second- and third-biggest rice exporters. In India, the world's biggest rice exporter, 5-percent broken parboiled rice prices eased by $3 per tonne to $391-$396 a tonne this week on sluggish export demand. In the past two months, there has been a sharp rise in Indian rates on government buying and as appreciation in the rupee caused a rally in local paddy prices. The rupee has risen more than 5 percent so far this year and is trading near its highest level in 21 months. A strong rupee trims returns of exporters, who cannot afford to cut prices. "African buyers are shifting to Vietnam. Indian rice is not competitive at the current price level," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. India mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to the Middle East. The Indian government buys rice from local farmers at a fixed price to supply subsidized food and meet any emergency needs such as a sudden spike in prices. The government has bought 36 million tonnes rice from farmers so far in 2016/17, up 24 percent from a year ago. Reuters
  • Next auction for state-held rice called

  • Decaying rice in storage at a warehouse in Nakhon Pathom. APICHART JINAKUL The government yesterday called the second auction for 1.82 million tonnes of state-held rice that is fit for human consumption. The grains put up for the second auction are mixed grade in quality and... More at:Next auction for state-held rice called Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1250250/next-auction-for-state-held-rice-called. View our policies at http://goo.gl/9HgTd and http://goo.gl/ou6Ip. © Post Publishing PCL. All rights reserved.  
  • Thai king presides over annual royal rice plowing ceremony

  • BANGKOK (AP) " Thailand's king has presided over an annual royal ceremony that marks the start of the rice-planting season. The ceremony was held Friday in Bangkok on a royal field in front of the Grand Palace. King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (ma-ha 'WAH-chi-ra-long-gon 'BOH-din-ta-ra-teb-pa-ya-wah-rang-goon) sat with daughter at his side as two oxen plowed a furrow and an official scattered rice seeds in the oxen's wake. According to Thai historical accounts, the Royal Plowing Ceremony dates back around 700 years. Thailand is one of the world's leading producers of the crop, putting out around 30 million tons per year. It is the second largest exporter of rice, behind India.
  • Thailand: Thailand exports 3.4 million tons of rice in four months

  • 4/25/2017 

    Thai News ServiceThe Department of Foreign Trade said Thailand has so far this year exported 3.4 million tons of rice, up 6.4%. Director-general of the department Mrs Duangporn Rodphaya said the rice export as of mid this month stood at 51 billion baht in value. With the increase of rice export as compared with same period, she was confident that the country's rice export will reach the target of 10 million tons by the end of the year. She added that the government is releasing 17.7 million tons of rice from its stockpiles as quickly as possible. She expects more than 150 billion baht to be generated from the release. She stressed the need to release rice in stocks despite facing losses, in order to reduce expenses, costing 17 million baht per day. - Thai PBS
  • Thailand to cut rice output

  • World food security a global problem famine at africa children need to help poor people need food to live kid hand with sheaf of paddy on Asia rice field
    Thailand plans to produce about 25 million tonnes of rice in the 2016-2017 crop instead of the normal production output of between 31-32 million tonnes in the last periods, according to the latest report released by the country’s Ministry of Commerce. The decision to cut output is prompted by a huge rice inventory and severe droughts in the country, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported. Commerce permanent secretary Chutima Boonyaprapat said that the private and farming sectors had been invited to join the government in working out an integrated rice production and market plan for the 2016-17 crop. Chutima said the plan was agreed by the three parties that the yield for the 2016-17 crop years would be capped at 25 million tonnes. Thailand, one of the world’s leading rice exporters, is striving to unleash its huge rice inventory of 13 million tonnes. In 2014, Thai rice production exceeded local demand by 50%. Restoring the balance on the rice market and raising farmers’ income are now key items on the Thai government’s agenda.