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Thailand's 2020 rice exports forecast to fall to lowest in seven years

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Thailand's 2020 rice exports forecast to fall to lowest in seven years

By Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Panarat Thepgumpanat

 

2020-01-16T055556Z_1_LYNXMPEG0F0EM_RTROPTP_3_THAILAND-RICE.JPG

FILE PHOTO: A rice mill worker holds rice that fallen onto the ground in Udon Thani, Thailand, September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's rice exports in 2020 are forecast to drop to their lowest in seven year, the country's rice exporters group said on Thursday, as the strong baht reduces the competitiveness against other shippers.

 

Exports from Thailand, the world's second-biggest exporter of the commodity after India, are expected to drop to 7.5 million tonnes this year, the Thai Rice Exporters Association said. That would be the lowest volume since Thailand exported 6.6 million tonnes of rice in 2013.

 

The grim forecast came after Thailand fell short of its initial 2019 target by exporting 7.8 million tonnes of rice last year.

 

Thai rice export volumes have declined for two consecutive years since hitting a record 11.60 million tonnes in 2017.

 

"We're being optimistic when we give the 7.5 million tonnes forecast," Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the exporters association, told Reuters.

 

"This year looks worse than the last, because of even more apparent price differences."

 

Thai benchmark 5% broken rice <RI-THBKN5-P1> prices have remained high well into 2020, after trading significantly higher than the Vietnamese variety throughout 2019 mainly because the baht rose in value relative to other currencies. Thai prices were about $75 a tonne higher than Vietnamese cargoes last week.

 

The baht was Asia's strongest-performing currency in 2019, appreciating by nearly 9%. It is currently trading near the highest in more than six years. <THB=TH>

 

Drought - which has been declared in 18 provinces in the central, northern and northeastern farming regions - also threatens to reduce supply in 2020, driving up local rice prices.

 

Thailand's dry season started in November and usually lasts through April, although authorities said it could go on through June this year.

 

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated Thailand's total output this year at 18.5 million tonnes of milled rice, down 9% from last year.

 

Last year, Thailand's commerce ministry gave a similar forecast for 2020 rice exports of 8 million tonnes.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-01-16
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Wouldn't some warehouses full of rice be very helpful now? I wonder where all the money went from the sale of that rice, now that would be interesting reading. The rice pledging scheme was a great idea however spoiled by currupt individuals that the true PM had no part in. Never really heard much about those thieving criminals... 

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On 1/16/2020 at 5:55 PM, snoop1130 said:

Thai prices were about $75 a tonne higher than Vietnamese cargoes last week.

Despite the Bt31.49 billion budgeted by the National Rice Policy Committee to maintain the price of unmilled rice for the production year 2019 to 2020 in order to help rice farmers in parallel with the project of income guarantee for rice farmers.

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30379176  

When the government has used the same solutions for five years to assure a sustainable income for rice farmers and failed, It takes considerable patience at best and total disregard at worse to continue with the same policies and failure.

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