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Country Briefs

  Thailand

Reference Date: 31-July-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Aggregate paddy production in 2017 forecast to increase from last year’s good level

  2. Rice exports in 2017 are forecast to increase to a three-year high

  3. After several months of strong increases, rice prices decreased sharply in July

Paddy production in 2017 forecast to exceed last year’s good level

Planting of the 2017 main season paddy crop, mostly rainfed, started in May in the northern areas, with the bulk being currently planted. Favourable rainfall since the start of the season in May, coupled with ample availability of water for irrigation, supported plantings and early crop development in the most cropping areas of the country. According to June forecasts by the Thai Meteorological Department, precipitation over the main rice producing areas during August and September is likely to be normal or above normal. Considering that a partial recovery in domestic paddy prices could stimulate greater plantings and assuming normal weather for the remainder of the season, FAO forecast the 2017 paddy output at 33.7 million tonnes, 3 percent or 1.1 million tonnes above last year’s good level.

The 2017 maize crop is preliminary forecast by FAO at 4.3 million tonnes, 7 percent below last year’s high level. The projected year‑on‑year decrease is mainly the result of a contraction in area planted, as producers react to low prices by shifting maize areas to more profitable crops, such as sugarcane.

Rice exports in 2017 forecast to increase to a three‑year high

Rice exports in 2017 are forecast at 10.5 million tonnes, up 6 percent from last year’s level and a three-year high. Ample exportable availabilities, following a larger 2016 crop, and Government stock releases are expected to enable the increase.

After several months of strong increases, rice prices decreased sharply in July

Domestic rice prices increased strongly between April and June, reaching the highest level since September 2013, mainly supported by strong demand from abroad. In July, rice prices decrease sharply, mainly reflecting a slowdown in export demand.