Thai rice price surges on India, Myanmar export bans

Global rice prices continue to rise, pushing Thai rice prices to 12,000 baht per tonne after Myanmar followed India’s lead by implementing a two-month ban on rice exports.

India banned most rice exports on July 20, raising concerns that other rice-exporting countries might do the same, sparking volatility in the global rice market. Only ‘basmati’ rice ‘ can be exported from India, though its government has opened channels to sell directly to other governments. Several countries have requested export quotas from India, leading to price fluctuations.

India is the largest rice exporter, accounting for around 40 percent of the global rice trade. It has a major impact on global rice prices. Other major exporters, like Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, and the United States, have been affected by India’s partial ban.

Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said the current rice-price situation makes it challenging for sellers to provide accurate prices. The recent ban on rice exports by Myanmar adds to the uncertainty.

Traders are closely watching India’s decision on which countries it will sell rice to, as this will impact global rice prices.

Vietnam, the third-largest rice exporter, has said it will not halt rice exports, but uncertainty remains about the future actions of other major rice-exporting nations, Chookiat said.

The goal of exporting 8 million tonnes of rice this year from Thailand remains, but it could fall short if major buyers like the Philippines and Indonesia succeed in purchasing rice from India, Chookiat said.

This article has been republished from The Jakarta Post.

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