Thailand runs the risk this year of losing its position as the world”s biggest exporter of rice because of high prices brought about by a government intervention scheme. Forecasts from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) show India could leapfrog Thailand this year, having resumed exports last September after a four-year gap. Vietnam could also ship more than Thailand to retain its second place.
India pulled out of the market in 2007 because of concern about food shortages that in April 2008 pushed Thailand”s benchmark 100 percent B grade white rice to a record high of $1,080 per tonne. The benchmark has not returned to anywhere near that level this year and now stands around $580 a tonne. Here are USDA rankings and forecasts for the world”s top 10 rice importing and exporting countries.
Copyright Reuters, 2012