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Thailand back to world's No 1 rice exporter - CP

Thailand has reclaimed its title as the world's top rice exporter after having shipped out 1.5 million tonnes of grain in the last two months, reported CP Intertrade Company.

Sumet Laomoraporn, Chief Executive Officer of CP Intertrade Co, said Thailand's rice export in January- February was higher than two closest competitors - India which exported 1 million tonnes and Vietnam 800,000 tonnes, Thai News Agency reported Saturday.

The United States has predicted Thailand will surge back to world's No 1 rice exporter this year given higher quality of rice and declining prices, he said, adding that Thailand will possibly export 8.5 million tonnes of rice this year.

He said the global rice prices are approaching the lowest level with 5 per cent rice sold at US$400/tonne and the prices will fall to US$360-380/tonne in March-April which is the harvest season in major rice producing countries, including Vietnam and India.

Rice prices will surge higher in the second half of the year as buyers import rice to be stocked and the El Nino phenomenon will affect rice production in the third quarter, pushing up grain prices, he said.

Sumet said the termination of the government's rice pledging scheme has pushed down rice price to Bt7,000/tonne, resulting in declining prices of packaged rice.

The price of packaged rice has been 10 per cent lower since early this year and is on a declining trend, he said.


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