Thai Rice Exports Seen at 10m Tons in 2016, 2017: Export Groupi

Thailand's rice exports this year should reach 10 million metric tons and shipments next year could be the same, the country's rice export association said on Thursday (01/12), both higher than the government's forecast.
The commerce ministry on Wednesday said Thailand, the world's second-largest rice exporter after India, is on track to meet its 2016 target of 9.5 million tons and is expected to sell at least 9 million tons overseas in 2017.
"An export volume of 10 million tons this year is possible," Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, told Reuters, estimating it would be worth around 170 billion baht ($4.70 billion).
For next year, he said "the association expects that 9.5 million to 10 million tons next year should be achievable."
"We have been getting orders and shipping rice constantly over the past weeks," said Chookiat, citing Thailand's competitive pricing and higher rice quality compared with Vietnam, the world's No. 3 exporter of the grain.
Benchmark Thai 5-percent broken rice was quoted at $360 a ton on Wednesday, free on board. The same type of grain from Vietnam was quoted at $340 a ton.
Rice exports in December should rise as Chinese buyers place orders ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in January, Chookiat said.

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