BANGKOK: Thai rice export prices plummeted to $395 a ton, a 3.4% drop from a recent high in mid-January, according to the Thai Board of Trade.
Rice production in Thailand, where two crops are harvested annually, is expected to increase 17.7% to 18.6 million tons in the 2016-17 season, with exports swelling to an estimated 10 million tons.
The Thai government has encouraged farmers to change crops, but total acreage grew in the second half of the crop season.
With global rice production forecast to hit a record this season, the commodity faces heavy upside resistance on the world market. The U.S. Department of Agriculture this month projected that global rice exports will total roughly 41 million tons in 2016-17, up 2.9% from a year ago.
India is the largest rice exporter with a 25% market share, followed closely by Thailand at 24%. Vietnam ranks third with 14%.
Ample rainfall is expected to help Indian rice crops this season, but an increase in domestic consumption is likely to hold back export growth.
Rice acreage continues to increase in Vietnam, with exports projected to grow 13.7% to 5.8 million tons.
The world’s rice stockpile is estimated to edge up 1.3% to 117.96 million tons at the end of the current season.