Thailand has no plans to restrict rice exports: official hinh anh 1Thailand has no plans to limit rice exports despite growing food security fears worldwide. (Photo: Bangkok Post)

Bangkok (VNA)
– Thailand has no plans to limit rice exports despite growing food security fears worldwide, according to Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) under the Thai Commerce Ministry.

Local media on April 2 quoted Vonkorpon as saying that the TPSO has been monitoring global rice markets during the pandemic, with many key rice exporters such as India, China and Vietnam halting shipments to ensure sufficient food supplies domestically.

She said Thailand is unlikely to experience any food or rice shortages, as domestic consumer demand accounts for just 50 percent of the total production. Even if both export demand and domestic consumption increase as more people stay home, a shortage is unlikely, she added.

Thailand’s existing rice stocks can accommodate domestic rice consumption for up to six months until the next annual harvest season. Nevertheless, the ministry has requested the private sector help maintain stocks to ensure adequate domestic supply, the official said.

Thailand is currently the world’s second biggest rice exporter, after India, which produces over 20 million tonnes of rice annually.

Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA), said that with the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, many rice exporters and importers like Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore have beefed up their domestic food security, but Thailand shows no signs of limiting rice exports.
Thailand will continue exporting rice as usual, and the country expects to be able to export 7 – 8 million tonnes this year, Chookiat said./.