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30 Sep 2022

Econ Digest

China’s severe drought…Opportunity for Thai jasmine rice exports


        China has been severely affected by heat waves and droughts this year, which may be prolonged from September to November. Although the situation has eased in some areas, the nationwide heat wave may affect the output of rice, wheat and maize for the upcoming harvest, causing China to increase imports. China is likely to import rice mainly from Thailand for the rest of 2022 to make up for domestic rice production, while Thai in-season rice, especially jasmine rice, is entering the market. Meanwhile, other import sources like Vietnam, Pakistan and India may face production limitations and export restrictions. However, concerns remain about the highly uncertain Thai flooding situation and the Chinese economy, which could result in Thai rice exports not fully benefiting from the aforesaid situations.

        KResearch projects that if the flooding situation in Thailand is not severe or has a limited impact on rice production, Thailand’s jasmine rice exports to China will be around 95,000-100,000 tons during September-December 2022, or an increase of 5.7-11.3% YoY, resulting in total Thai jasmine rice exports to China of 155,480-160,480 tons in 2022, or an increase of 18.7-22.5%. Looking ahead, Thailand may face challenges from China’s policy to accelerate investment in agriculture to build food security. Therefore, Thailand should be prepared in various fields, including focusing on producing agricultural products like soft-textured white rice that meet market needs, reducing production costs and increasing productivity per rai. These measures will make Thailand more competitive in the world market. As well, Thailand should be focusing on producing quality products such as organic products that will help create added value while expanding the market to new potential markets besides China, such as Japan, the United States, Malaysia and South Korea. Moreover, the development of Thai agricultural products should be in line with the environmental trends in importing countries such as European countries, which have begun to implement more non-tariff measures (NTBs) on agricultural products.

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