Thailand Government Boasts of Record Export Prices in 2013
September 05, 2013 - 22:01:05
Thailand has exported over 4 million tons of rice during January – August 2013 at an average price of $700 per ton, the highest price Thai rice has ever fetched, the Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) said earlier this week.
According to the government, earnings from rice exports in the first eight months of 2013 stand at around $2.8 billion, helped by the highest average price ever in the history of the country's rice export. However, historical data shows that Thailand had exported around 4.5 million tons of rice worth around $3.5 billion in January – August 2012 (at an average export price of around $777 per ton, using historical exchange rates). Thailand had exported about 8.34 million tons of rice worth around $4.7 billion in the same period in 2011 (at an average export price of around $565 per ton, using historical exchange rates), the year in which rice prices increased sharply from September due to the implementation of the government rice mortgage program.
The Thai government is targeting 8.5 million tons of rice exports in 2013, but exporters say that it is likely that exports would be restricted to below 6.5 million tons due to low demand and high prices. In 2012, Thailand exported around 6.73 million tons of rice, down about 37% from around 10.7 million tons exported in 2011. In terms of value, rice exports in 2012 declined almost 28% to about $4.63 billion, down from around $6.43 billion in 2011.
Meanwhile, the USDA says that low bids in government auctions to release rice from its stockpile are putting downward pressure on domestic rice prices. According to trade sources cited by the USDA, bids for the recent government tenders were as low as 12,000-13,000 baht (about $370 - $400) per ton, much below the government purchase price of around 15,000 baht (about $465) per ton. Local traders say that they expect prices to decline further following the recent government decision to reduce support prices and limit rice purchases under the rice mortgage program 2013-14 (read Oryza story Thailand Extends Rice Mortgage Program; Purchase Prices Lowered for 2013-14 Off-Season Crop).
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