11/27/2012, 00.00
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Bangkok exceeds Delhi, Thailand becomes the world's leading rice exporter

The government accelerates the release of the product on the market to make way for the next harvest. In 2013, Thailand should export 8.5 million tonnes, India instead will fall below 7 million. The Shinawatra government has promoted policies that support farmers, the electoral base that has enabled it to win in politics last year.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Bangkok is set to overtake Delhi as the world's largest exporter of rice, meanwhile, the Thai government has given a boost to the sale of inventory in crammed state warehouses. This is what experts say from the International Rice Research Institute, according to whom the shipments departing from India are likely to fall below 7 million tonnes next year. In contrast, Thailand in 2013 plans to place on foreign markets at least 8.5 million tonnes of the precious grain.

The increasing introduction of rice from Thailand onto the markets could augment competition among Asian countries, the world's largest producers; at the same time, it will scale down prices, which have seen a 1.2 % increase this year. Meanwhile, global inventories for the 2012-2013 fiscal period are destined to reach "the highest point" in the last ten years.

Concepcion Calpe, an economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), explained to the Bloomberg agency that "Thailand has no choice but to get rid of its stock." This situation, the expert predicts, will "most likely" lead to a "drop in prices" and the "increasing competitiveness" of other nations previously considered of secondary importance in production, such as Brazil, Russia, Australia and Egypt.

In addition, by the end of 2013 the stocks of Thai rice should reach 12.1 million tonnes, compared with 9.8 million last year. The country will also be forced to sell part of the product purchased from farmers, to make room for the new harvest.

The massive production of the grain is also the result of the policies promoted by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who favored the strengthening of farmers' income. Thai analysts and policy experts point out that the vote of the peasants was key to the victory of the Pheu Thai Party policies last year, and now the Prime Minister wants to reciprocate the support of its constituency.



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