Thailand is expected to see the highest volume of rice exports in four years as importing countries increase purchases to refill stockpiles and avoid food inflation.
According to Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, rice shipments this year are projected to reach 8 million tons as a weak Thai baht strengthens competitiveness and countries such as China seek to rebuild stockpiles before the Lunar New Year holidays.
Shipments could remain stable through next year, he added.
Chookiat also noted that Thailand, the world’s second-largest rice exporter after India, benefited this year from India’s decision to limit exports as well as Iraq’s return to the market. Global concerns about food security and declining output in major producing countries like India (responsible for over 40% of global trade) fueled robust demand for Thai rice internationally.