Rice products are agro-industrial goods worth watching. Despite their moderate growth in the market at home, exports tend to have a promising growth. In terms of value, exports of rice products remain modest in comparison with those of other key farm produce. However, they are among processed and value-added agricultural products with greater room for export growth, especially if new technology and world-level standardization of production are adopted.
Rice products can be classified into various products, i.e., rice flour, glutinous rice flour, noodles, crisp bread, gingerbread, sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers, rusks, toasted bread and other toasted products, capsule shells for pharmaceutical use, rice paper and others. Of the total rice output domestically, 43.0 percent is for consumption, 4.0 percent for new planting, 3 percent placed in stockpiles, 40.0 percent for export and the remaining 10 percent is sent for further processing. Of this total processed rice, 9.0 percent goes for domestic consumption and the remainder of one percent goes to export markets.
The exports of rice in the first-eleven months of 2006 came to 183,011 tons with a value of THB 7,004 million. This volume and value rose by 3.0 and 6.6 percent over year. Export markets are growing continuously. The interesting rice products showing continuously high growth in export value are glutinous rice flour, rice noodles and snacks made from rice flour. Thailand benefits from being a source of the raw material. Nonetheless, it is necessary to increase raw material volume and ensure consistent quality to meet market demand and reasonable price. This would improve Thai competitiveness in rice products. On the domestic front, the producers can adjust themselves by improving their packaging, making it more attractive and stronger for broader acceptance by consumers. Therefore, a bright future lays ahead for the development and expansion of rice the product market.
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