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THAILAND – ECONOMY: Rice exports for 2022 exceed target

Thailand exported 7.69 million tonnes of rice in 2022, up 22.1 percent from the previous year, the Thai Ministry of Commerce said.

Exports exceeded the target of 7.5 million tonnes, with the main markets being Iraq, South Africa, China and the United States.

Thai rice exports were strong last year due to the weak baht, Ronnarong Phoolpipat, head of the ministry’s trade policy and strategy office, told a news conference.

Thailand is the world’s third largest rice exporter after India and Vietnam.

Earlier this month, the Thai Rice Exporters Association lowered its 2023 target from 8 million tonnes to 7.5 million as the baht, which is currently trading around 32.50 to the US dollar, weakens. is considerably appreciated after hitting a low of 38 last October.

The price of benchmark 5% white rice remains high in world markets, falling from $465 a ton in mid-December to $523 on January 18, according to the association’s website.

Thai rice exports also benefited last year from export restrictions imposed by India to bolster local food security.