Channel NewsAsia

More rice exports expected for Thailand as pledging scheme ends

The Thai Rice Exporters Association said it expects the country to export 9 million tonnes of rice in 2014, 20 per cent more than the previously-estimated 7.5 million tonnes.

BANGKOK: The Thai Rice Exporters Association on Wednesday raised the forecast for rice exports as the end of the state pledging scheme would help bring down prices.

The association said it expects the country to export 9 million tonnes of rice in 2014. This is 20 per cent more than the previously-estimated 7.5 million tonnes.

Rice exports fell in Thailand after the deposed government in October 2011 began buying rice from farmers at above market price, making export rates uncompetitive.

India overtook Thailand as the world’s top rice exporter in 2012 as the scheme, which was meant to help poor farmers, caused a hike in export prices.

The price of Thai 5-per cent broken rice reached US$650 per tonne in October 2011 while India was selling the grain overseas at far lower rates.

The Thai grain is now selling at between US$380 and US$385, while Vietnamese rice costs US$400-US$405.

Some 800,000 farmers were owed payment for months after the rice pledging scheme ran into financial trouble.

The scheme ended in February this year.

Thailand’s current military junta began paying money owed to the farmers after it seized power in a coup. 

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna