The Thai Rice Exporters Association has estimated that Thailand will be able to export nine million tonnes of rice this year, the highest level in three years, which should generate revenue of US$4.75 billion.
It said the demand for Thai rice has increased due to competitive prices and overseas buyers have also expressed interest in Thai rice, especially white rice and parboiled rice.
Benin, Nigeria and South Africa have continued to buy Thai rice while the most popular ‘Mali’ (jasmine) fragrant rice is being exported to the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore on a regular basis, it said.
Despite rising demand for Thai rice overseas, local exporters have preferred to keep limited stocks due to fierce competition in the market. Meanwhile new rice harvested by Vietnam had begun entering the market and Thailand was trying to reduce its stock to prevent losses, the rice traders' association said.
During the first five months of this year, Thailand exported 3.82 million tonnes and earned about Bt63.1 billion, up to 52.3 per cent and 19 per cent in volume and value respectively year-on-year, the association said.
The major importers were Benin, China, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and the US.
It is estimated that Thailand can export 900,000 tonnes of rice in June as overseas demand for Thai rice continues to increase while prices are also tending to rise due to the global market mechanism, the association added.