Thailand may join with Vietnam to control rice trade

  • Vietnam’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Tran Thanh Nam met with officials from Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to discuss the possibility of working together to raise rice prices to increase their bargaining power in the global market on 26 May 22.
  • Alongkorn Ponlaboot, advisor to Thailand’s Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister, said rice prices in the global market have been low at around USD300-400 (THB10,240-13,650) per tonne for more than 20 years while production costs have continued to rise.
  • Mr Alongkorn said that if Thailand and Vietnam work together to raise rice prices, they would have “more bargaining power to control the global rice trade and improve farmers’ incomes.”
  • However, critics of the move cite how actions to restrict rice exports to raise prices are limited by hefty storage costs due to the perishability of rice, and the Thai Rice Exporters Association has expressed disapproval for the move.
  • Additionally, importers may still be able to access rice from other sources, including India who produces over 20 million tonnes per year, compared to 6 million tonnes each from Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Officials from both countries are set to meet in Jun 22 to discuss sustainable food production.

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