Thai rice exporters to sell 150,000 tons of rice to Hong Kong
The signing of MOU was witnessed by the commerce minister Aphiradee Tantraporn. Under the MOU, seven Hong Kong companies agreed to buy 150,000 tons of rice from Thai rice exporters. The deal is estimated to be worth #120 million.
The Commerce Ministry has plans to increase Thailand’s market share in Hong Kong from 57% to 65% for 2016. This will represent a total of no less than 200,000 tons of Thai rice exports to the former colony.
The ministry also has plans to further increase this amount to 300,000 tons within the next 1 – 2 years. Official estimate for Thai rice exports for this year is that the target of 9 – 9.5 million tons will be met.
However it is still lower than last year’s rice exports which were 10 million tons. This is due almost entirely to the national drought crisis which had caused production to drop.
There are altogether 12 million tons of rice stocks remaining which will not help market prices for Thai white rice to increase any time soon.
As a consequence, the Ministry of Commerce has been forced to revise its marketing plans to focus more on the quality of Thai rice.
Markets targeted for high quality rice are primarily in the Asian region such as Hong Kong, Singapore, China and the US which have higher purchasing power.
In order for the plan to be successful the ministry has had to garner the cooperation of the private sector as well as farmers. Higher production quality has been specified for rice farmers focusing on planting ‘Rice Berry’ and organic rice crops while the private sector has been tasked with coming up with effective marketing programs.
These efforts have enabled the ministry to confidently assert that Thailand’s rice exports will see a marked increase within this year, according to the Commerce minister. ■