Thailand rice export exceeds 2023 target

The total rice export from Thailand last year exceeded the country’s target at 8 million metric tons.  According to the Department of Foreign Trade,  or DFT,  the export figure resulted in 178.14 billion baht revenue,  while the government aims to maintain rice exports to current and newer markets this year through events and trade shows,  particularly the Thailand Rice Convention 2024 in May.  Commercial officials will be focusing on establishing government-to-government trade deals and expanding opportunities for Thai rice exports to South Africa,

Hong Kong,  Japan,  Singapore,  Malaysia,  and the Philippines,  who are key Thai rice importers.  Despite these ongoing plans,  the DFT has lowered the rice export target this year from 8 to 7.5 million tons in anticipation for El Nino impacts that could result in a 5.87 percent reduction in the total harvest.

 The lowered target also reflects a declining trend in rice demands,  given the reducing popularity for rice,  leading to a downward trend in rice imports by trade partners.  Rice from Thailand is also facing price competition,  as Thai rice is generally priced higher than rice from other countries,  leading to an urgent need to develop a new variety of rice that gives higher yield,  more resistance to pests and diseases, as well as requiring fewer fertilizers. 

Export license data from the DFT shows more than 1.12 tons of rice being exported from Thailand in January this year alone,  which is a figure 43.96 percent higher year on year.  The most popular varieties of rice exported in this period are white rice,  Thai homily rice,  and par boiled rice.

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