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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   3 December 2012 

Thailand rice exports to Hong Kong falls drastically


Thailand's Commerce Ministry will cooperate with exporters to regain Thailand's share of the Hong Kong fragrant-rice market, increasing shipments of Hom Mali (jasmine) rice to that city by at least 60,000-70,000 tonnes next year, after experiencing a heavy reduction.

After leading a meeting of exporters with Hong Kong rice suppliers and importers yesterday, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said the government would next year budget seriously for promotion of rice sales in Hong Kong, traditionally a major importer of Thai rice.

Since 2008, when Thailand enjoyed 90 per cent of the Hong Kong market for imported fragrant rice, that proportion has dropped sharply, to 51 per cent this October. In volume terms, this is a reduction of about 50,000 tonnes from the previous annual level of 200,000 tonnes.

"Thai Hom Mali rice should regain our share next year thanks to close cooperation among the Thai government, Thai exporters, and Hong Kong rice traders," Boonsong said. "Although the [Hong Kong] market has faced some economic difficulty, consumers there still favour Thai rice.

"The government will closely |work with private enterprise in promoting rice export to [Hong Kong] and other markets, including Singapore."
He said Thailand needed a marketing campaign emphasising the high quality of its rice to boost export value. The government will next year focus of encouraging Thai rice exporters to concentrate on promoting Hom Mali rice via many channels, mainly to restaurants, to modern traders, and directly to Hong Kong consumers.

Currently, Thailand is losing its share of the fragrant-rice market to Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, so the country should take this seriously, he said.
Currently, Thai jasmine rice is quoted at US$1,100 a tonne, compared with $950 a tonne of Cambodian fragrant rice and $650 for Vietnamese rice of lower quality.

The ministry's roadshow campaign will tighten connections with traders in targeted export markets next year, mainly China, its two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, and Singapore.

Boonsong yesterday witnessed a signing ceremony between seven Thai exporters and eight Hong Kong importers for the supply of 100,000 tonnes of rice under nine trading contracts. This export volume is worth about $1.1 billion (33.8 billion Thailand baht). Exporters will gradually supply this lot of rice to Hong Kong buyers over the next three months.

Signatories of the contracts were Asia Golden Rice and Lick Sang Rice Ltd., Asia Golden Rice and Chong Seng Mai Hong, Chaitip and Lam Kee Hong, Siam Grains and Lam Kee Hong, Standard Rice and Kwong Sun Hong, Bangsue Chia Meng Rice Mill and Chui Tai Hong, Bangsue Chia Meng Rice Mill and Kui Fat Yuen, Toumi Intertrade and Infotech Rice, and CP Intertrade and Dah Chong Hong.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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