Off-season rice cultivation on over 11 million rai, which exceeds that planned before, has now forced the Royal Irrigation Department to cut water supplies for agricultural purposes and prohibit rice farmers in irrigated areas from growing a second off-season rice crop due to concern towards shortages of water for human consumption.
We at KResearch are of the view that off-season rice planting outside irrigated areas and any second off-season rice cultivation will likely suffer from drought. During 2H17, it is expected that a mild El Niño effect will probably cause a delay in rainfall, though not too severe, so if relevant government agencies and rice farmers are well prepared to cope with that, a major rice cultivation for the 2016/2017 cultivation year – beginning around May 2017 – should not be affected.
That being the case, we also project that the output from off-season rice cultivation in 2017 (2016/2017 cultivation year) will reach perhaps 6.8-7.8 million tons, and rice output from a major rice cultivation during 2H17 (2017/2018 cultivation year) will total 24.5-25.5 million tons. However, close attention must be paid to rice prices because they might suffer from projected growth in global outputs and stocks.
On the export front, KResearch expects that the value and volume of Thai rice shipments for 2017 will be almost on a par with 2016 at perhaps USD4.4 billion and 10 million tons. Of that total, 1 million tons will likely be sold G2G. Currently, our major rice export markets are in Africa and Asia, accounting for 80 percent of the total rice exports.