Thailand expected to exceed rice export target of 7 million tonnes this year

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BANGKOK, March 21 (Reuters)Thailand plans to export more than 7 million tonnes of rice this year, exceeding its original target, an exporters association said on Monday.

Rice exports are expected to be boosted by competitive prices due to the weak Thai baht, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary chairman of the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

Thailand, currently the world’s third-largest rice exporter after India and Vietnam, is expected to export around 2 million tonnes of rice in the first quarter of 2022, he said.

“If we can continue like this, we could eventually reach 8 million tonnes of rice exports this year,” Chookiat said.

The country shipped higher volume to Middle Eastern markets such as Iraq, and saw steady demand from African markets, he said.

Asian markets are also turning to Thai rice over Vietnamese because of competitive prices, Chookiat said.

Broken rice 5% from Thailand RI-THBKN5-P1 was trading between $410 and $428 per ton last week, which is similar to Vietnamese rice of the same quality RI-VNBKN5-P1 at $415-$420.

The volatile baht traded at 33.45 against the US dollar on Monday, weakening 3.82% from a month ago. THB=TH

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)

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