KResearch is of the view that Thai rice prices will likely increase slightly during 2022 after having bottomed out in 2021. The marginal rise is due to the low base of 2021. Rice prices are projected to increase to a range of THB8,900-9,400/ton in 2022, representing a contraction of 1.6 percent to an increase of 4.0 percent. A major factor that may support rice prices is supply disruption resulting from a shortage of export shipping containers, though this issue is expected to ease after mid-2022. Close attention must be paid to challenges continuing from 2021 such as intense competition from rivals, particularly India and Vietnam, as well as uncertainties surrounding the Omicron variant of COVID-19 as they may cause rice prices to move in a narrow range.
Meanwhile, complex issues related to the rice price structure will continue to pressure rice prices in 2022. Although rice prices are set in improve in 2022, they are considered relatively low. Given this, KResearch is of the view that the government policy, aimed at maintaining rice prices and assisting rice farmers over the immediate and short-term remains necessary in helping shore up their income. Concurrently, medium- and long-term guidelines to address slumping rice prices should be implemented as they are key engines that will help steer the Thai rice industry and enhance rice production.