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Shaping the Future of Thai Rice for Sustainability

17 January 2018 (Readers 633)

Representatives from various sectors have joined hands in shaping the future of Thai rice for sustainability. They have discussed the development of the Thai rice industry, which will lead to the setting of Thailands rice policy by the Government.
The discussions took place at a workshop, held at the Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok on 14 January 2018. Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong presided over the opening of the workshop, organized by the Ministry of Commerce.
Mr. Sontirat said that Thailands rice production in the 2018/2019 year is expected to stand at 19.8 million tons, or 30.4 million tons of paddy. The rice price is likely to improve, with the Hom Mali rice price standing at between 15,000 and 16,000 baht a ton, while the price for white rice is expected to be 7,000-8,000 baht a ton.
He said that demand for rice consumption in the world has been on a decline, and that the global rice stocks in 2017 reached 140 million tons, the highest in five years. Taking into consideration the world rice situation, Thailand needs to adjust its rice production and exports, in line with the demand in the world market.
Thailand exported 11.5 million tons of rice in 2017 and this volume has reached a record high. In 2018, Thailand is expected to export 9.5 million tons of rice. As the country released all its old rice stocks last year, its rice export volume this year will drop.
Director-General of the Department of Internal Trade Boonyarit Kalayanamit said that global rice production in 2017 declined because of lower production by several major rice-producing countries, such as India, the United States, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.
Moreover, he said, consumers have started to change their eating behavior by turning from rice to other grains. As a result, global rice consumption has been on the decline. Some rice importers have also begun to grow rice for their own consumption.
Such a situation will have an impact on Thai rice exports. Members of the public and private sectors, academics, experts, and farmers have, therefore, been encouraged to join hands in discussing the issue, which will help develop the Thai rice industry throughout the whole system.
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