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Commerce Ministry touts rice sales to many nations

25 April 2024

The Commerce Ministry is promoting government-to-government (G2G) sales of rice to Indonesia, while pledging to move ahead with plans to negotiate a similar sale with China.

Late last year at the Japan-Asean Summit, Indonesia expressed its intent to purchase 1 million tonnes of rice from Thailand via a G2G deal.

The first lot of 55,000 tonnes has been sold to Indonesia, with delivery expected within this month.

The ministry said it is working on a deal for the second lot.

Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said the ministry is awaiting the outcome of an extended G2G rice delivery period for an additional 280,000 tonnes under a contract with China.

Mr Phumtham said the ministry is also working on G2G deals with other countries, but declined to reveal the details to prevent price undercutting by competitors.

Last year, Thailand exported 8.76 million tonnes of rice, the highest level in five years.

The value of these exports amounted to 178 billion baht, marking a 28% increase.

Thai hom mali fragrant rice maintained a healthy export volume despite a higher price than competitors, with shipments of 1.32 million tonnes in 2023, up 5.6% from the previous year, he said.

"Thailand's key rice export markets include the United States, China, Canada and Hong Kong," Mr Phumtham said.

"Though our prices may be higher than those of competitors, our rice quality is also second to none, especially Thai hom mali rice, which is known globally for its tender texture and unique natural fragrance."

In related news, he presided over the 41st edition of the National Hom Mali Rice Competition 2023 hosted by the Internal Trade Department on Wednesday.

The department holds the competition to raise awareness of Thailand's signature rice products, grown by more than 4.7 million farmers.

The awards help to identify and conserve top-quality Thai jasmine rice, promoting cultivation standards and creating a model for sustainable agriculture, said Mr Phumtham.

Many consumers prefer high-quality Thai jasmine rice, he said.

The competition also serves as a platform for buyers to sign purchase contracts with farmers, according to the department.

Source : bangkokpost