Thailand’s rice exports forecast to hit decade low hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: bangkokpost)

Bangkok (VNA) - Thailand's rice exports are likely to plunge to 6.5 million tonnes this year, the lowest in the last decade, from an earlier projection of 7.5 million tonnes because of negative factors, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA).

Local media on July 21 quoted TREA Honorary President Chookiat Ophaswongse as saying that the group offered dim export prospects for the second half, and downgraded its rice forecast to only 6.5 million tonnes this year.

Chookiat said Thailand's rice exports are hampered by a host of negative factors, such as the COVID-19 crisis that weakened global demand, a strong baht that makes Thai rice more expensive, or continued drought cutting into rice output.

Thailand's relatively more expensive prices have led buyers to opt for grains from competitors, he added.

In 2019, Thailand exported 7.58 million tonnes of rice, earning 131 billion baht (4.13 billion USD), down 32 percent in volume and 25 percent in value year-on-year. In the first five months of this year, the country shipped 2.57 million tonnes of rice abroad with an export value of 54.2 billion baht, down 31.9 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively.

Chookiat said Thailand is estimated to export about 3.5 million tonnes of rice in the second half of the year./.