The exports of Thailand’s rice are likely to surge due to growing demand in the world, according to the country’s Foreign Trade Department.

The department said several countries, including the US, China and Malaysia, are showing their interest to sign rice deals with Thailand.

The US is planning to purchase about 1 million tonnes from Thailand, and China and Malaysia are planning for a combined 600,000 tonnes, according to the department.

The Thai Commerce Ministry also stated that China will probably sign agreements to buy an additional 1 million tonnes from Thailand after the inspection of some warehouses in Thailand.

Between January 1 and April 4, Thailand exported around 2.11 million tonnes of rice, up about 29 percent from the 1.64 million tonnes in the same period last year, reported the department.

The Thai government still has about 10 million tonnes of rice in stock and is keen to sell the grain quickly due to quality concerns and the obligation to return about 20 billion baht (around 619 million USD) to the Finance Ministry by May 31.

It added that Iraq will soon resume rice imports from Thailand , while the country is also hopeful of winning the tender to supply 800,000 tonnes to Philippines .

The Thai government has sold more than 1 million tonnes of rice in March 2014 and is planning to sell another 1 million tons to raise about 8 billion baht (around 247 million USD) every month in 2014.

China, Malaysia and the US are traditional markets for Thai rice. According to data from the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA), the US imported about 382,000 tonnes in 2013 and about 35,060 tonnes in January this year.

The figure for China were 277,547 tonnes in 2013 and about 35,495 tonnes in January, while those for Malaysia were 155,230 tonnes in 2013 and about 9,439 tonnes in January.-VNA