BANGKOK: Rice exports from Thailand, the largest world supplier after India, are likely to decline about 4 percent this year because of increased competition from Vietnam and other producers.
Exports will total 9.5 million tons in 2017,the honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said recently in an interview. That compares with 9.88 million tons in 2016, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. Competition from Vietnam may possibly reduce white rice exports by about 400,000 tons to 4.6 million tons.
The forecast drop in exports occurs just as the U.S. Department of Agriculture expects global rice consumption to lag behind production for the 12th straight year.
As much as 3 million tons of exports this year are likely to be old varieties from state reserves.