The National Rice Policy and Management Committee, during its recent meeting chaired by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, heard a report on the global rice situation and Thai rice exports.
According to the report, the world rice production 2017/2018 is expected to be 483.8 million tons, a drop by 0.68%, when compared with 487 million tons in 2016/2017. The decline resulted from lower production by Bangladesh, the United States, China, and the Philippines, which had been affected by floods and drought conditions.
Rice consumption in 2018 is likely to fall by about 500,000 tons. The main reason is that many consumers in the United States have changed their eating habits and turned to other crops, such as whole grains and quinoa.
However, world rice exports in 2017 rose by 44 million tons over the volume in the previous year. In the fourth quarter of 2017, bright prospects are seen in global rice trade, since several importing countries are still in need of more rice.
Thailand is expected to export more rice this year. Exporters have already sought permission to export 11.18 million tons of rice, exceeding the set target of 10 million tons. Rice prices in the world market have also increased. In 2016, the Thai Hom Mali rice was sold at about US$715 a ton. The price has increased to US$952 a ton in 2017.