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April 2024

Indonesia becomes largest importer of Thai rice

Exports of Thai rice to Indonesia have soared over the past few months as the country struggles with severe drought triggered by the El Niño phenomenon and the delayed onset of the rainy season.

Deputy Commerce Minister Naphinthorn Srisanpang said on Tuesday that drought has impacted Indonesia’s rice-growing areas, especially in Java and parts of South Sumatra.

Farmers in highland areas have been forced to cultivate plants that consume less water such as corn, he added.

Naphinthorn SrisanpangNaphinthorn Srisanpang

Naphinthorn said Indonesia ranked 20th on Thailand’s list of rice importers last year, ordering 91,714 tons of rice worth US$42.24 million (1.48 billion baht).

In the first 10 months of this year, that volume increased dramatically to 1.05 million tons of rice worth US$523.45 million (18.42 billion baht).

“Indonesia is now Thailand’s No 1 rice market,” he said, adding that most of the rice imported to Indonesia is white rice.

Indonesia becomes largest importer of Thai rice

Thailand’s rice exports from January to October totalled 6.92 million tons worth $3.96 billion (139.80 billion baht), up 11.4% and 24.7 % year on year respectively. The top five importers were Indonesia, the US, South Africa, Iraq and China.

“The demand for rice is likely to increase due to drought and El Niño’s impact on rice production,” Naphinthorn said. “Concerns about food security have pushed many countries to import rice to meet domestic demand.”

To increase exports and promote Thai rice among new consumers, he said Thailand needs to accelerate its development of rice species, focusing on boosting competitiveness and meeting consumers’ demands.

Farmers should seek guidelines to deal with climate change and follow government agencies’ water management measures to mitigate the impact of drought, he added. QR Code

Published Date: December 5, 2023

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