Thai rice exports expected to exceed 8 million tonnes hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source:

Bangkok (VNA) - Thailand's rice exports are expected to exceed 8 million tonnes this year, driven by the weakness of the baht and rising demand in the global market, according to Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA).

Thai rice shipments reached 1.5 million tonnes in the first two months of this year, compared with 900,000 tonnes in the same period of 2021, said Chookiat.

If Thailand can ship an average of 700,000 tonnes a month, the total export volume will likely be at least 8 million tonnes this year, well over the 7 million tonnes the association forecast," he said, adding that export value is estimated at 130 billion THB, up from 110 billion THB last year.

Chookiat was quoted by local media as saying that Thai rice export prices are now competitive as the baht weakens, partially because of the ongoing war. Thai rice prices are now close to those of Vietnamese grains, he said.

The free-on-board price of 5 percent Thai white rice is now offered at 420 USD, the same rate as Vietnamese rice. The price is 20 USD higher than the 400 USD a tonne recorded at the beginning of this month.

The export markets in the Middle East, such as Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, are back this year, Chookiat said.

Given COVID-19 outbreaks in Hong Kong (China) and Singapore, as well as the lockdown in Shenzhen, China, consumers are buying more Thai rice in supermarkets to stock up, he said.

The war had a strong impact on Thai rice prices, causing them to rise slightly because of higher prices for wheat and corn, he said, adding that TREA expects Thai rice prices to increase by 5 percent or 20 USD per tonne in the second quarter of this year.

The projected uptick is modest because there are relatively high stocks in India, while rice production is expected to gain this year both in Vietnam and Thailand, said Chookiat./.