KResearch views that Thailand's rice exports in 2021 will likely remain steady at around 5.8-6.0 million tons, or an estimated growth rate of 1.3-4.8 percent YoY. This rate is higher than the total growth of demand for rice in the global market, which stands at 1.7 percent. Jasmine rice exports to the United States, in particular, enjoyed considerable growth at 0.54-0.56 million tons in 2020, or growth in the range of 10.7-14.8 percent YoY. This contributed to growth in Thailand's overall exports of jasmine rice which amounted to 1.3-1.35 million tons, or 9.3-13.5 percent. Meanwhile, exports for other rice types (white rice and parboiled rice) are only expected to meet global demand. For this reason, other types of Thai rice may remain unable to compete in markets. Meanwhile, jasmine rice will likely be the best performer with the greatest competitiveness as it is regarded as a premium product without price competition. All in all, Thailand's rice exports are forecast to be at a modestly higher level than 2020 and Thai rice exporters are expected to maintain their share of 12.8 percent in the global rice market -a level close to the previous year..
While Thailand's rice exports in 2021 will sustain their growth momentum – thanks to increased rainfall from the transition into La Niña which prompted higher rice yields – they are also bound to encounter negative factors continuing from last year. Though the COVID-19 outbreak has eased somewhat, and the issue of container shortages has improved in comparison to 2020, the Baht's appreciation will continue to put pressure on Thai rice's price competitiveness, thus limiting the growth of Thailand's rice exports.