Thailand lifts 2023 rice export target to 8.5 million metric tons


By Panarat Thepgumpanat

BANGKOK, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Thailand has increased its rice export target for this year to 8.5 million metric tons, Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, told Reuters on Wednesday as rice prices from competitors like Vietnam increase.

"Vietnamese rice is expensive so countries like the Philippines and Indonesia are increasing orders of Thai rice," he said.

Thai rice sells for about $550 to $555 per metric ton, he said, while Vietnamese rice goes for about $630.

Thailand is the world's second-largest rice exporter after India. The government earlier forecast exports of 8 million tones.

The country's rice production this year had seen only a limited impact from the El Nino weather phenomenon, Chookiwat said, adding that the 2023/24 season is expected to yield 33 to 34 million tons, up 2 million tons from the same period a year ago.

In the January to September period, Thailand sold at 6.08 million tons of rice, up 12% year-on-year.

Next year, however, he expects Thai rice exports to decline to 7.5 million tons, factoring in the world's top exporter India easing an export ban.

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng, Editing by Kim Coghill)

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