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May 2024

Rice exporters predict higher prices in Q2

Several factors support uptick

As of March 27, the price of Thai white rice was quoted at $601 per tonne.

Rice exporters expect global prices will increase in the second quarter because of the impact of the El Niño climate phenomenon and India’s rice export restrictions.

In July 2023, the Indian government banned the export of non-basmati white rice, followed by further restrictions on basmati and parboiled rice in response to increasing domestic prices and fear of a shortage because of weather conditions. Global rice prices have increased by 15-25% since the ban.

Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said rice exports tallied 2.5 million tonnes in the first quarter as exporters are committed to delivering a large quantity, in particular white rice to major Southeast Asian markets such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, as well as Africa and the Middle East.

Key importers of white and fragrant rice in the US and Asia are expected to post strong demand for white rice and fragrant rice to compensate for reduced domestic supply amid record-high global prices, he said.

Thailand’s rice supply remains sufficient and Thai rice prices are competitive as the baht weakened against the dollar, leading importers to opt for the local grain, Mr Chookiat said.

As of March 27, the price of Thai white rice was quoted at US$601 per tonne, while the prices for Vietnam and Pakistan were in the range of $582-586 and $605-609 per tonne, respectively.

The price of Thai parboiled rice was $606 per tonne, while the prices for parboiled rice from India and Pakistan were in the range of $551-555 and $618-622 per tonne, respectively.

In the second quarter, export volume may decrease slightly because of increased competition, as Vietnam’s harvest season starts in March, he said.

“As long as India maintains its ban on white rice exports, local shippers should be optimistic that Thai rice prices should stay relatively high in the first half of this year,” Mr Chookiat said.

He said rice exports this year are likely to reach 8 million tonnes with an estimated value of 180 billion baht, surpassing the previous projection last month of 7.5 million tonnes with an estimated value of 150 billion.

Mr Chookiat also anticipates Indonesia continuing its rice imports this year, tallying up to 3.6 million tonnes, surpassing the earlier forecast of 2 million tonnes.

Indonesia recently opened a bid to buy 200,000 tonnes of rice, with Thailand winning the bid for 100,000 tonnes, followed by Pakistan and Vietnam. QR Code

Published Date: April 8, 2024

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