Mexican chain buys big load of Thai rice


THE COSTCO-MEXICO superstore has imported 112 tonnes of Thai rice for distribution to its 32 branches in 18 Mexican states.

The move is part of a coordination between the Thai Trade Centre in Mexico and Otis McAllister Co Ltd – a US-based importer of Thai rice – to promote the product and expand its presence in Central America market through their distribution channels in the US.

According to the Thai Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn, Costco is also willing to join the Thai Trade Centre to organise marketing campaigns for Thai rice to expand its market share in Mexico.

Malee Choklumlerd, the Department of International Trade Promotion’s director-general, said that the ministry had positioned Mexico as the base to distribute Thai rice in Central America, especially Panama and Cuba.

Malee said that Panama did not have a sufficient rice supply to serve local demand. Recently the Panama government increased rice imports to 67,000 tonnes, which is expected to climb to 135,000 tonnes soon.

Cuba, with 11 million people, is another potential market for Thai rice. However the export of Thai rice to Cuba needs to be done by authorised importers in the island nation.

In 2015 Thailand exported 16,167 tonnes of rice worth US$6.6 million (Bt234 million) to Mexico, while Mexico imported 781,000 tonnes of rice worth $273 million from the US. The Thai Trade Centre in Mexico has invited rice importers from Mexico, Panama, and Cuba to visit the Thaifex – World of Food Asia event in Thailand.

Last week the Hong Kong chain 759 Store imported the first lot of Thai hom mali rice and other types of Thai rice totalling of 136 tonnes from Siam Diamond Export Thailand as part of their memorandum of understanding signed last November.

Under the MoU the Hong Kong superstore will import 10,000 tonnes of rice from Siam Diamond.

The deal reflects the Department of International Trade Promotion’s attempt to promote the Thai rice in Hong Kong.


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