Thailand may no longer be the number-one exporter of rice, says the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

According to Association President Chukiat Opatwong, exports of Thai rice are expected to increase to 7.5 million tonnes in 2014 compared to last year’s 6.6 million tonnes. The rise is attributed to the need for more rice in China and the Philippines .

However, he said it will be hard for Thailand to once again become the world's number-one exporter of rice. That status, he said, is held by India at present, given it still has a surplus of rice on-hand that it can continuously export.

Moreover, Vietnamese rice, another competitor, has gained more popularity among consumers. Being less expensive than Thailand’s jasmine rice, Vietnamese rice has secured more market share in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.-VNA