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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Rice exports reach record high in 2017

    BANGKOK, 8 January 2018 (NNT) - The Thai Rice Exporters Association revealed that rice exports reached a record high last year with most of the demand coming from Benin in West Africa.

    Thai Rice Exporters Association President, Pol Lt Charoen Laothammatas, said the export of Thai rice grew 20% during the first 11 months of last year when a total of 10.4 million tons, worth 156 billion baht, were exported.

    Rice exports in November last year expanded 47% compared with the same month in 2016. The highest demand for Thai rice came from Benin, China, South Africa, Cameroon and the United States.

    Although the official figure for December’s rice export has yet to be revealed, it has been estimated that at least 11.2 million tons were sold overseas, making the annual Thai rice exports the highest ever recorded.

    However, Pol Lt Charoen cautioned that the stronger Thai currency could potentially put Thailand at a disadvantage in the global rice market in the future.


    National News Bureau Of Thailand | Rice exports reach record high in 2017

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    Klondyke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Rice exports reach record high in 2017
    So, wasn't it better and profitable (for who?) when the democratically elected govt of the currently fugitive PM had frozen the rice exporting? And instead had kept all the rice got rotten in the state (or ruling party's) stores?

  3. #3
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    Err, I think you misunderstood something, if I remember well the rice exports weren't deliberately stopped by the government... Being the 1st exporter they thought they could manipulate the market to get a better price, but that didn't happen mainly because India decided at that point to allow non-basmati rice export which flooded the market...not the best context to make a move for Thailand.

    The rest is history : poor but pricey storage, and of course some embezzlement...

  4. #4
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    However, Pol Lt Charoen cautioned that the stronger Thai currency could potentially put Thailand at a disadvantage in the global rice market in the future.
    It will so exporters of Thai rice will have to price accordingly if they want to sell. The exporters as they always do will have to decrease buy price from farmers to maintain profits.

    Last two years on our rice land have been bumper crops. Far above average yield per rai,
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farang Ky Ay View Post
    Err, I think you misunderstood something, if I remember well the rice exports weren't deliberately stopped by the government...
    Oh sorry, I have misunderstood it. So, they did it for the farmers well being (giving them a paper instead of paying money), not for themselves (just cashing state money for building the huge rice storage, make themselves so good to farmers when promising the high buying prices - then please vote for us). And at the end of the day, destroyed huge volume of rice and destroyed the Thai price and the name... (and helping the sellers in other countries)

    But there are surely many more profesional explanations of the clever rice scheme.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
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    ^ You made good points on how the scheme was managed but that doesn't change the fact that exports weren't actually deliberately stalled by government as you stated, I think I gave some contextual explanation on why it occurred...

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farang Ky Ay View Post
    ^ You made good points on how the scheme was managed but that doesn't change the fact that exports weren't actually deliberately stalled by government as you stated, I think I gave some contextual explanation on why it occurred...
    Perhaps you really did get it wrong:
    if I remember well the rice exports weren't deliberately stopped by the government
    The truth - as generally known - is that the govt deliberately did stop the exports. And as in any other business - unless the commodity is not something very unique - if I stop, there are so many other exporters kindly helping to supply the increased demand...

  8. #8
    เกี่ยวข้อง HuangLao's Avatar
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    The rice producing industry has had a long rich history of suppressive corruption and control, regardless of sitting government/rulers - they're all guilty cunts, as the tradition runs deep across all political spheres.

    Any subjective perspectives and discussion can be certainly construed as unsettled and an exercise in futility, less as to who's at fault.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Perhaps you really did get it wrong:

    The truth - as generally known - is that the govt deliberately did stop the exports. And as in any other business - unless the commodity is not something very unique - if I stop, there are so many other exporters kindly helping to supply the increased demand...
    You mean there were buyers but Thai gvt refused to sell?

    Nothing to do with cheaper Indian non basmati rice available for the first time on the world market since many years...If so I stand corrected

  10. #10
    เกี่ยวข้อง HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farang Ky Ay View Post
    You mean there were buyers but Thai gvt refused to sell?

    Nothing to do with cheaper Indian non basmati rice available for the first time on the world market since many years...If so I stand corrected

    Nonetheless, Thailand has recently re-secured it's top dog status as #1 rice surplus exporter in the world.

    Has nothing to do with anything - except the perceived image.
    Rices have been used as an instrumental political tool for ages, as it continues to be placed.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farang Ky Ay View Post
    You mean there were buyers but Thai gvt refused to sell?

    Nothing to do with cheaper Indian non basmati rice available for the first time on the world market since many years...If so I stand corrected
    Well no, the rice traders had the buyers (customers) and when the Govt bought the majority of the rice at way above market price and stored it the traditional traders could no longer buy from the Thai farmers or millers so they went elsewhere to source rice for their customers so the traditional buyers of Thai rice got their rice from other countries through their normal supplier.

    With rice as with any commodity there is a chain from the farmer to the plate each part of that chain has its own expertise, suppliers and customers. The Govt broke that chain by attempted to take over both the buying and selling of the rice without the customers or expertise.

    When coupled with the idea that withholding Thai Rice from the market would drive up world prices the whole thing became a monumental and costly cock up.

  12. #12
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    I agree with your points, but the plan to break the chain and have exporters buying from gvt agencies wasn't that a bad idea on the paper.

    As 1st rice exporter they thought they can get a better price but they didn't...IMO mostly because there was Indian non basmati rice available on the market for the first time since many years.

    In this context (extra rice flooding the world market) they couldn't manipulate the price, they got stuck with their more expensive Thai rice. Local exporters had naturally no interest in buying overpriced rice (as the price manipulation attempt failed as explained)... So for me it looks related to India's unprecedented move, more credible than some gvt refusing to sell the rice as stated...they wanted to sell but their rice was more expensive than world market price
    Last edited by Farang Ky Ay; 11-01-2018 at 09:30 PM.

  13. #13
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birding View Post
    When coupled with the idea that withholding Thai Rice from the market would drive up world prices the whole thing became a monumental and costly cock up.
    Sure did. Should have just given producers a subsidy.
    The scheme may have worked if a consortium like OPEC was established to limit supply. It wasn't and the basic premise of the scheme that Thailand could drive the market, proved incorrect. India, Vietnam, along with others, were benefactors of the scheme in the end.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farang Ky Ay View Post
    I agree with your points, but the plan to break the chain and have exporters buying from gvt agencies wasn't that a bad idea on the paper.

    As 1st rice exporter they thought they can get a better price but they didn't...IMO mostly because there was Indian non basmati rice available on the market for the first time since many years.

    In this context (extra rice flooding the world market) they couldn't manipulate the price, they got stuck with their more expensive Thai rice. Local exporters had naturally no interest in buying overpriced rice (as the price manipulation attempt failed as explained)... So for me it looks related to India's unprecedented move, more credible than some gvt refusing to sell the rice as stated...they wanted to sell but their rice was more expensive than world market price

    First up there was no idea of getting exporters to buy from Govt stockpiles. I remember at the time the chortling that the scheme was going to put the crooked rice traders who had been ripping off the farmers out of business but this failed for the traders were in an international business and not just reliant on Thai rice.

    Next, India, Vietnam and others only filled the void left by Thai rice being withheld from the market, common business sense, which gave India in particular a chance to sell down its stocks. No good trying to blame India for any failure of the scheme.

    There was no 'extra rice flooding the market' only replacing what was withheld.

    In fact the whole scheme was not pledging at all only buying up and storing Thai rice at an inflated price to 1/ garner votes 2/ to drive up world prices.
    1/ was a great success 2/ a failure.

    To understand this you need to go back to the original Thaksin Govt pledging scheme which was built on the premise that at the start of the main harvest rice prices were low because there was a lot of rice coming on to the market and at the end of the harvest there was competition for what was left to be harvested so the price rose

    The idea was that farmers promise "Pledge" (how the name came about) to store their early rice to sell when the price was higher. In return the Govt would pay the farmers the early season low price then top up to the higher price when the rice was sold. But few of the farmers who joined the scheme had their own storage so the Govt stored the rice for them to be sold, in theory, when the price rose.

    But this failed as what it really did was even out the supply over the whole harvest season (and the buyers knew this) so the price stayed the same. The farmers then said "we keep what we have been paid you keep the rice" leaving the govt to sell off the rice in storage.
    But this wasnt very expensive as the only costs to the Govt was storage, admin and corruption.

    Not nearly as expensive as the Yingluck scheme which bought the rice at above market price and was funded by out of budget borrowing which had to be topped up when the money ran out.

    The Yingluck scheme had many consequences including increasing production as the farmers set about growing as much rice as possible to take advantage of the higher price. I saw myself that in some instances as soon as the harvester had moved out the ground was being worked up for the next crop so instead of a single or a second crop in a year farmers were harvesting 3 or even 3 and a bit crops. This used more water which didnt help the drought situation and fertilizer and spray with suppliers jacking up prices to be in for their chop.

    The scheme running out of money also meant some farmers had to wait for payment sometimes up to 6 months forcing them to go to loan sharks to survive and to continue farming, that is why on average rice farmers came out of the scheme deeper in debt than before.

  15. #15
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    Interesting views, back to my India claim, here is an article addressing the issue on very practical terms (not some theory stuff article)

    In case you miss it :
    shortly after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration was swept into office on a wave of votes from the farming sector, India opened the floodgates
    How Thailand?s Botched Rice Scheme Blew a Big Hole in its Economy | TIME.com

  16. #16
    เกี่ยวข้อง HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Sure did. Should have just given producers a subsidy.
    The scheme may have worked if a consortium like OPEC was established to limit supply. It wasn't and the basic premise of the scheme that Thailand could drive the market, proved incorrect. India, Vietnam, along with others, were benefactors of the scheme in the end.
    Keep a good watch on Cambodia.
    The quiet up and coming member of the club.

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    เกี่ยวข้อง HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farang Ky Ay View Post
    Interesting views, back to my India claim, here is an article addressing the issue on very practical terms (not some theory stuff article)

    In case you miss it :

    How Thailand?s Botched Rice Scheme Blew a Big Hole in its Economy | TIME.com
    And still repercussions felt to this day throughout the Thai economy. Reflective of how influential this commodity is to the trickle down/up well being.

    Hypothetically, one could ask or even speculate a what if scenario - suppose that the Shinawatra era never came to be. Would such a scheme, well-intended or corrupt, have developed from other like parties?

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by birding View Post
    ...to 1/ garner votes
    "Nobody can give you more than I can promise"...

  19. #19
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Would such a scheme, well-intended or corrupt, have developed from other like parties?
    Of course it would. Hair brained schemes have been the norm to placate the masses long before square face entered the stage and continue to this day.

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