Illustrative image (Photo: bangkokpost.com)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s rice export prospects are brightening with shipments expected at 9.5 – 10 million tonnes next year, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

Thailand’s rice situation is stable thanks to several pending purchase orders under government-to-government (G-to-G) contracts with the Philippines and China, President of the association Charoen Laothammatas said.

He forecasts the country’s paddy prices will remain steady at 8,000 to 8,500 THB (229-236 USD) a tonne in 2016.

The Thai Government through the Foreign Trade Department will sign a G-to-G deal this week to sell 500,000 tonnes of newly harvested rice to Indonesia’s national logistics agency, Bulog.

In September, Thailand secured a deal to sell 300,000 tonnes of rice to the Philippines under a G-to-G deal at cost, insurance and freight prices of 426.6 USD a tonne.

It is set to sign a contract to sell 1 million tonnes of rice to China with delivery scheduled for next year.

The Thai Government is hoping to sell more rice from its stocks in 2016 due to lower output resulting from drought conditions.

Drought is forecast to cut second-crop output next year by 50 percent to 4-5 million tonnes of paddy from 8-10 million tonnes.-VNA