Thai rice exports to hit lowest level in two decades President of the association, Charoen Laothamatas, said it would be the first time that Thai exports would be lower than that of Vietnam, which is expected to export a total of 6 million tonnes.
Thai rice export has faced many obstacles, including higher price when compared to competitors.
The situation has been aggravated by the strengtening baht, he added.
Honorary president Chookiat Ophaswongse added that the value of the estimated 5.7 million tonnes of rice export this year would be Bt115 billion, down 12 per cent year on year.
Another reason for the low export is the shortage of containers for transporting rice, he added.
Thai rice wins World's Best Rice Award 2020 (NNT) - Hom Mali, or Thai Jasmine fragrant rice, was named the best rice in the world at the 12th World Rice Conference 2020, held in the United States on 1-3 December.
The World Rice Conference has now held 12 contests and Thailand has won first prize six times at the contest – in 2009, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2020. Vietnam was ranked second and Cambodia third in the contest this year.
Mr. Charoen Laothammathat, President of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said this year's rivals were from five countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, China and the US. Twenty samples of rice are normally submitted. Thailand submitted only one rice sample, jasmine 105, grown in the Northeast and harvested in November. The 105 variety won in all criteria both before and after cooking. This year, the submitted Thai jasmine rice sample was of excellent quality due to favorable weather conditions making it drier, clearer and more fragrant than usual.
The prize that Thailand won this time, is in honor of King Rama IX who made a great contribution to the Thai rice industry because His Majesty the late King is the father of Thai rice research and development, celebrated on the occasions of Father's Day and National Day 2020.
It will also benefit Thai farmers and the Thai rice trading system because it enhances confidence in Thai rice quality on the world market.
Mr Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister said the Ministry of Commerce will continue the five-year Thai rice strategy 2020-2024, aiming to be the world's leading producer of rice and rice products. The prize will build confidence and raise the image of quality Thai rice on the world market.
The Prime Minister thanked all parties for their joint effort to enable Thailand to regain the status of global rice champion. The award would benefit farmers and Thai rice exports he said, as it would provide the world with evidence of the quality of Thai rice.
At the recent meeting of the National Rice Policy and Management Committee, the Prime Minister instructed relevant agencies to accelerate the development of new rice varieties, as well as production technology and innovation, in order to further boost the strength of Thai rice.
Can Thailand save its rice bowl, or will China, India and Vietnam eat it for lunch? Video below Jasmine rice, once the star of Thailand's grain exports, is facing the heat from cheaper varieties in the region As the country cooks up a plan to regain world dominance, observers say more incentives and support for farmers are needed
Thailand's famous jasmine rice claimed yet another top prize on the world stage this month, marking the sixth such honour the World Rice Conference has bestowed on the fluffy, fragrant and full-bodied grain since 2009.
The "Khao Dawk Mali 105" – a code name for the most renowned Thai jasmine rice variety – defeated rivals from Cambodia, China, the United States and Vietnam with "its combination of aroma, texture, and flavour", said the judging panel at the annual forum for rice suppliers and policymakers.
Thai growers attributed the win to an early onset of cool winds that swept Thailand 's northeast earlier this year, making the grains "particularly shiny, strong and fragrant", said Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association.
But the recognition caps a difficult year for Thailand, which is set to see the lowest rice exports in two decades due to falling global demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the baht's strength and export competition from the likes of India, Vietnam and China.
In 2015, India dethroned Thailand as the world's top rice exporter, a position it had held for 35 years. India is set to export about 14 million tonnes of rice this year, up from 9.9 million tonnes last year.
This year, Thailand fell to No. 3, with Vietnam snatching the second spot. From January to October, Thailand exported 4.4 million tonnes of rice, down 31 per cent from a year before. In comparison, Vietnam shipped 5.3 million tonnes of rice in the same period, down 8 per cent from last year.
Thailand's rice exports to China, one of its biggest markets, also fell by 39 per cent this year.
While China remains a major market for Thai jasmine rice, known as hom mali, Charoen from the Thai Rice Exporters Association said Thai growers had in the past two years been badly affected by a drought that caused the prices of general white rice to spike, prompting China to seek other suppliers. It recently imported rice from India for the first time in decades to substitute unstable supplies from Southeast Asia, widening the competition gap even further. full article scmp.com
Over 2.4 million farmers to get cash assistance under rice price guarantee scheme from Dec 9 The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will disburse Bt20.4 billion to some 2.4 million farmers on Wednesday after the Cabinet approved an additional budget of Bt28 billion for the government's rice price guarantee scheme.
This amount is in addition to the originally santioned budget of Bt18 billion.
The scheme aims to compensate nationwide rice farmers of over 4.56 million households.
"The reason why the scheme needs a higher budget is that this year's rice prices have dropped more than previously estimated," said Kasab Ngernrungrong, BAAC deputy manager.
"The price of Hom Mali [jasmine] rice is currently Bt2,899 per tonne lower than the guarantee price, round rice is Bt877 per tonne lower, Pathum fragrant rice is Bt1,039 per tonne lower, and sticky rice is Bt933 per tonne lower."
The scheme limits the maximum amount of rice guaranteed per household: Hom Mali rice is capped at 14 tonnes, round and Pathum fragrant rice at 25 tonnes and sticky rice at 16 tonnes.
The BAAC also has earmarked Bt15.28 billion as subsidy for farmers who keep unmilled rice in their barns instead of selling to the mills in a bid to prevent oversupply which will cause the rice price to plummet further.
"Farmers who keep unmilled rice would get Bt1,500 subsidy per tonne, and they would be allowed to sell their rice when the price situation improves," he said.
"We estimate that towards the year-end more than 200,000 farmers will apply under the campaign.
"The bank would try to disburse the money under related schemes to rice farmers before the year-end so that they could invest in next year's cultivation as well as spend during the new year festival. We estimate that when combined with all available measures, a rice farmer could receive up to Bt70,000 from the BAAC," he added.
Besides rice, the BAAC is also responsible for price guarantee schemes of other crops, including rubber with a budget of Bt9.7 billion, tapioca (Bt9.5 billion), corn for animal feed (Bt1.8 billion), oil palm (Bt8.8 billion), and longan (Bt3.4 billion).
Drought strangling 4,000 rai of rice in Pichit, farmers plead for help
A massive 4,000 rai of rice in Pichit is dying due to the prolonged drought, forcing farmers to demand that the government create artificial rain to tackle the problem immediately.
Normally, rice plantations in the province rely on provincial irrigation during the rainy season, but the drought this year is playing havoc, much to the misery of farmers.
Pratuan Rungchat, a farmer in Nong Pla Lai sub-district, said he planted rice when there was some rain, but then the rain disappeared. Now, 90 per cent of his rice is dying, he said, and this is set to become 100 per cent if the dire situation continues. He's pleading with the government to offer a helping hand.
Thai rice exporters cut 2020 forecast to 6.5 million T, lowest in 20 years (Reuters) - Thailand's rice exporters association has slashed its forecast for 2020 exports to 6.5 million tonnes, the lowest volume in two decades, owing to drought and a strong baht currency, its executives said on Wednesday.
The industry group's latest forecast for Thailand, the world's second-largest rice exporter last year, is lower than its previous expectation of a seven-year low of 7.5 million tonnes for 2020.
The association attributed that to a persistently strong baht compared to other currencies and drought cutting Thai rice output by 5 million tonnes this production season, making prices higher and uncompetitive.
"The new forecast of 6.5 million tonnes is the lowest volume in 20 years," said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, adding the previous low was 6.15 million tonnes in 2000.
"This year will be a struggle."
From January to June, Thailand exported 3.14 million tonnes of rice, about a third less than the same period last year, the association's data showed, less than India's 4.53 million tonnes and the 4.04 million tonnes shipped by Vietnam.
Thailand's gains from India halting logistics during lockdown and Vietnam temporarily banning new contracts to ensure domestic supply amid the coronavirus crisis would be shortlived, and balanced out by flat demand, Charoen Laothamatas, the association's president.
"COVID-19 has made the market volatile, making importers buy more than usual earlier to stock up, but now they won't need to for a while," he said.
Sales of Thai premium-grade jasmine rice have risen by 63% this year, benefiting from panic-buying in wealthier markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, the United States and Canada.
Meanwhile, lower purchasing power globally has seen Thai white rice lose out to cheaper grades offered by Vietnam in key Asian markets like the Philippines.
China, once a Thai rice importer, was also beating Thailand in key African markets with cheaper prices.
Five types of rice covered by new price-guarantee scheme
The National Rice Policy Committee has approved a rice price-guarantee scheme for crop year 2020-21 for five types of rice with effect from September 1 until the end of harvesting season in May 2021, Deputy PM and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said on Friday (July 17).
The five types of rice to be guaranteed under the scheme are:
▪︎ Hom Mali rice from the Northeast is guaranteed Bt15,000 per tonne up to 14 tonnes per household.
▪︎ Hom Mali rice grown elsewhere is guaranteed Bt14,000 up to 16 tonnes.
▪︎ Round rice is guaranteed Bt10,000 up to 30 tonnes.
▪︎ Hom Pathum Thani rice is guaranteed Bt11,000 up to 25 tonnes.
▪︎ Glutinous rice is guaranteed Bt12,000 up to 16 tonnes.
"The committee also approved the measure to slowdown the sale of rice when there is excess supply in the market which could result in the price plummeting," said Jurin. "Farmers who hold on to their rice stocks instead of selling them will be compensated at Bt1,500 per tonne. In case the farmers have submitted their produce to a cooperative, the compensation will be shared between the cooperative [Bt1,000 per tonne] and farmers [Bt500 per tonne]."
"Furthermore, the government will support 3 per cent of interest for millers who apply for loan to buy the rice and keep in their stock instead of selling while there is oversupply in the market," added Jurin.
"Lastly, the committee agreed to rename 'harvesting subsidy' as 'rice management and quality improvement subsidy', which is paid at Bt1,000 per rai, up to 20 rai per household," said Jurin. "Previously the harvesting subsidy created confusion as to whether or not the farmers were entitled to the money in case the paddy was damaged by natural disaster and could not be harvested."