Thailand has revised its 2018 rice export target to 10 million tonnes from the previous forecast of 9.5 million tonnes. (Photo: bangkokpost.com)

Bangkok (VNA) - The Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA) has revised its 2018 rice export target to 10 million tonnes from the previous forecast of 9.5 million tonnes, after exports of the grain for the first four months of this year performed better than expected.

During the January-April period, Thailand exported 3.31 million tonnes of rice, up 38 percent from a year earlier and outpacing other big rice exporters like India, which shipped 3.21 million tonnes; Vietnam, 1.61 million tonnes; and Pakistan, 1.28 million tonnes.

TREA President Charoen Laothamatas said, during the first quarter of this year, Thai rice exports rose more than expected as demand in several importing countries increased.

With orders coming from African and Asian nations, Thailand is expected to fulfill the export target of 10 million tonnes of rice this year, he stressed.

The association's upward revision matched the Thai Ministry of Commerce’s latest  forecast of 10 million tonnes worth of rice exports for 2018.

The Ministry of Commerce also attributed the rise in exports to strong demand, particularly in Southeast Asia and Africa.

The Philippines' National Food Authority recently bought 250,000 tonnes of rice, including 120,000 tonnes from Thai exporters. Moreover, private Thai exporters were able to sell 200,000 tonnes of rice to Indonesia. The Philippines and Indonesia both requested prompt shipments.

Last year, Thailand exported a record 11.6 million tonnes of milled rice, up 17.4 percent year-on-year, fetching 174.5 billion baht, up 12.8 percent. The top five importers of Thai rice were Benin, China, South Africa, Cameroon and the US.-VNA