Thailand is expected to export  9-9.5 million tonnes of rice this year, with the quantity possibly reaching 10 million tonnes at more than Bt170 billion in value.

Thailand’s Permanent Secretary for Commerce Yanyong Puangrat said that the Ministry of  Commerce is certain that Thailand is the world’s top rice exporter and will retain its position, as Thai rice is globally known to be of good quality and standardised.

rice paddy Thailand northen
During the last food crisis, the situation was aggravated when some countries imposed export restrictions or engaged in panic buying

From January to May, the country has exported over 5.7 million tonnes of rice to markets worldwide, worth over Bt88 billion.

The high cost of production, high fuel prices, and the fluctuation of currency exchange rates have caused Thai rice exporters to face problems, Mr Yanyong said.

However, public and private sector cooperation to penetrate new markets and unusual weather in several rice exporting countries obstructing their exports enhanced the demand for Thai rice overseas.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce is planning to boost the brand recognition of Thai rice in existing markets and enter more markets in other countries, and is holding a “Thailand Rice Convention” and “World Rice Standard Summit 2011” from June 20-23 so as to make Thailand the world’s leading rice exporter.

Trading partners–over 500 persons from more than 50 countries worldwide–will join the event in Bangkok. Participants will be brought to rice farms and mills in the central province of Nakhon Sawan to learn the local way of life of Thai farmers as well as how the popular Hom Mali fragrant rice is produced and milled. (MCOT online news)

via Thailand exporting 10 million tonnes of rice this year.

The Democrat Party has vowed to offer better prices to rice growers with a plan to subsidise transport costs and offer higher profits under the next phase of the rice price insurance scheme.

Korbsak Sabhavasu, the party’s strategy director for the election, said the transport subsidy would vary based on distance from Bangkok.

Farmers would be entitled to 200 baht per tonne of rice transported up to 300 kilometres from Bangkok, 400 baht for 301 to 600 km, and 600 baht per tonne for more than 601 km.

The party also pledged to raise the profit given to farmers by 10 percentage points from 40% of production costs given under the existing scheme.

Mr Korbsak said farmers were expected to enjoy an average price of 12,000 baht a tonne under the second step of the insurance programme, up from 11,000 baht a tonne insured under the existing scheme.

Drought in China has affected 6.5 million hectares of farmland, the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said on its website on May 20.

Global food output may be hurt as climate change brings more extreme weather over the next decade, with China likely set for harsher droughts and North America getting heavier rain, said the World Meteorological Organization.

“Extreme events will become more intense in the future, especially the heat waves and extreme precipitations,” Omar Baddour, a division chief at the United Nations’ agency, said in a phone interview from Geneva.

“That, combined with less rainfall in some regions like the Mediterranean region and China, will affect crop production and agriculture.”

The more extreme weather — including in the U.S., the world’s largest agricultural exporter — may disrupt harvests, possibly cutting production of grains, livestock and cooking oils and boosting prices.

Global food costs reached a record in February, stoking inflation and pushing millions into poverty.

“We foresee with high confidence in climate projections that intense precipitation in some parts of the world will be more intense, and drought will be more intense,” said Baddour, who’s tracked the subject for more than two decades.

Extreme heat waves “will also be more intense and more frequent.”

Baddour’s comments add to projections that more extreme weather may affect farm production.

Sunny Verghese, chief executive officer at Olam International Ltd. (OLAM), among the world’s three biggest suppliers of rice, forecast in February that food- supply chains face “massive disruptions” from climate change.

Drought in China has affected 6.5 million hectares of farmland, the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said on its website on May 20.

China has ordered the operator of the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s biggest, to release water to replenish the Yangtze River and counter the local region’s lowest rainfall in half a century.

The drought in China may cut early-season rice output if there’s no adequate rain over the next two weeks, according to industry researcher

“If the drought doesn’t end in two weeks, the impact on the region’s rice will no doubt be significant,” Zhang Lu, an analyst at the group, said yesterday.

In the U.S., floods along the Mississippi River and its tributaries have affected almost 3.6 million acres of cropland, causing the most damage in Arkansas, the American Farm Bureau Federation said on May 23.

Floods in Canada’s Frenchman River Basin may be the largest since 1952, and the waters slowed the nation’s sowing, the Canadian Wheat Board said on April 20.

“Climate change, high-and-volatile food and energy prices, population and income growth” will put intense pressure on land and water and challenge global food security as never before, according to Mark Rosegrant, director of environment and production technology at the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Rosegrant also cited changing diets and increased urbanization in a May 24 e-mailed statement.

Corn will average $7.75 per bushel this quarter and $8 in the third quarter on “growing concerns about crop weather in the U.S., Europe and now parts of Russia,” said Abah Ofon, a Singapore-based analyst at Standard Chartered Plc. Corn traded at $7.4625 per bushel at 7:29 p.m. in Singapore today, more than double the price a year ago.

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