Thailand’s rice production is expected to return to historical levels in 2017-18, reaching 19.5 million tonnes, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
That total is 5% higher than production in 2016-17, which was hindered by critically low reservoir levels. Planted acreage is likely to increase 3%, especially in irrigated areas. Unlike in 2016, it is unlikely that irrigation supplies will be restricted in May, the month when farmers begin planting main-crop rice.
Water supplies for irrigation during the dry season and early rainy season in 2017 totaled 9.7 cubic meters, a significant increase from a record low of 4.2 billion cubic meters in 2016.
The Thai government is expected to sell the remaining 2.9 million tonnes of food-quality rice stocks, which will help maintain export volumes. Rice exports in 2016-17 and 2017-18 are forecast to increase to around 10 million tonnes, up slightly from around 9.9 million tonnes in 2015-16. Government stocks are expected to decline to 1 million to 2 million tonnes by the end of 2017-18.
Read the full story about Thailand’s rice production here