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May 2024

India extending export tax on steam rice, good news for Thai exports

India’s policy of indefinitely extending the export tax on steam rice could be good news for Thai exporters, who could be receiving increased orders for steam rice for the first time in 10 years, the Thai Rice Exporters Association said.

TREA president Kobsuk Iamsuri said on Friday that Thailand’s export of steam rice had hit a record high of 3.26 million tonnes in 2014, with major markets including Nigeria, Benin and Cameroon.

However, the demand for Thai steam rice, a product not consumed in Thailand but only made for export, has dropped drastically in the past decade because of the high cost of production, which rendered Thai steam rice more expensive than competitors’, including India’s.

Currently Thai steam rice is sold at an average of US$606 per tonne, while its Indian counterpart is priced at around $551-555 per tonne.

Kobsuk said Thailand’s export of steam rice in 2022 was 1.51 million tonnes, then dropped to 1.35 million tonnes in 2023. This prompted several millers to stop making steam rice and focus only on white rice, which saw export of 3.8 million and 4.9 million tonnes in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

India extending export tax on steam rice, good news for Thai exports

“Thanks to India’s tax policy, things are changing for the better for Thai steam-rice exporters,” she said, adding that the TREA estimated total rice export in March at 800,000 tonnes, with steam rice responsible for a larger portion compared with the previous month.

Thai Rice Mills Association president Rangsan Sabaimuang said domestic millers should have no problem switching back to producing steam rice if they receive more orders.

“Millers will promptly adjust their output according to the market demand, as the milling industry is already highly competitive,” he said.

India extending export tax on steam rice, good news for Thai exports

Statistics from the Customs Department revealed that in the first two months of 2024, Thailand exported 1.74 million tonnes of rice, increasing 24.4% year on year and worth $1.12 billion, a jump of 55.1% year on year. Steam rice is responsible for only 108,997 tonnes of total export. QR Code

Published Date: April 20, 2024

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