Thailand to claim 45 per cent of rice market this year
Bangkok - Thailand, which saw its rice export earnings shoot up 73 per cent in the first four months of 2008, is expected to claim 45 per cent of the world rice trade this year, media reports said Friday.
The country's rice exports between January to April this year reached 4.07 million tons compared with 3 million tons during the same period in 2007, said The Nation newspaper, citing data released by the Foreign Trade Department.
Foreign exchange earnings off rice hit 1.91 billion dollars in the four-month period, compared with 1.1 billion last year, a jump of 73 per cent.
Rice prices have doubled this year, due to shortages on the global market created by export bans on the grain imposed in India and Vietnam, the two leading rice-exporting nations after Thailand.
With its major competitors out of the market, Thailand is expected to claim 45 per cent of the world rice trade this year, compared with its 30 per cent share in 2007, said Foreign Trade Department director-general Apiradi Tantraporn.
She predicted that rice prices would remain high for the rest of the year due to rising demand, especially in Africa and the Middle East. (dpa)