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Thai rice exports hit record high
Business Day, 09 January 2004
BANGKOK - Thailand, the world's leading rice exporter, says its exports hit a record high of 7.58 million tonnes in 2003 while it is targetting exports of 8.0 million tonnes this year.
The commerce ministry said rice exports increased by 4.68 percent on 2002 in volume terms, while their value jumped 19.5 percent to 1.86 billion dollars.

"Rice exports were better than targetted both in terms of volume and value, which the ministry had set at 7.3 million tonnes and 1.7 billion dollars" respectively, the ministry's foreign trade department said in a statement.

The ministry forecast that global demand will outstrip production with India, China and Pakistan expected to export less than last year due to falling production levels.

"Based on these factors the ministry expects the 2004 rice market still has potential to grow and the ministry has set an export target of 8.0 million tonnes with a value of 1.9 billion dollars," it said.

Indonesian, Nigeria, Senegal, Iran and South Africa are the main importers of Thai rice.

Thailand was the world's leading rice exporter in 2003, followed by Vietnam, India, China and Pakistan, according to estimates by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.
MGR Archive 9.1.2004
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