Thailand’s rice exports remain gloomy this year hinh anh 1Packs of Thai rice (Photo: VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s rice exports are expected to recover slightly from an estimated 5.8 million tonnes in 2020, which was the lowest in 20 years due to weak global purchasing power caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a container shortage and the strong baht.

Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA), said he believes that rice exports will reach 6.5 million tonnes at best this year, up from an anticipated 5.8 million tonnes worth 110-120 billion baht (3.65-3.98 billion USD) in 2020.

Rice exports remain gloomy this year, as consumers worldwide are likely to opt to save their money and buy rice at cheaper prices, he stated.

He took Malaysia as an example as the country has now started buying more rice from India with cheaper prices, instead of Thailand and Vietnam.

According to him, the container shortage is another obstacle for rice export prospects, citing the Thai National Shippers’ Council’s expectation that the container shortage will last six months.

About half of rice exports now rely on shipping containers. The container shortage in Thailand has intensified since June 2020 after China announced an easing of lockdown measures and Vietnam ramped up its exports.

Thailand is estimated to face a shortage of more than 1.5 million containers, according to the council./.