China has agreed to import 20,000 tonnes of 5 per cent white rice from Thailand worth $10.4 million to be delivered in June and July, the Department of Foreign Trade said on Sunday.
“This will be the eighth lot of rice that China will import from Thailand under the government-to-government contract of a total of 1 million tonnes,” said Kirati Ratchano, the department’s director-general.
“We hope that the rest 280,000 tonnes under this contract will be delivered within this year.”
The contract is part of the high-speed train cooperative framework between the Thai and Chinese governments, under which China has agreed to buy a total of 2 million tonnes of rice from Thailand throughout the project. The first contract covering 1 million tonnes of rice had been signed and China has imported 700,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand so far.
Under this contract, China can import any kind of rice with no minimum limit per lot.
“The department also has signed MoUs with Bangladesh and Indonesia, who have agreed to buy at least 1 million tonnes of Thai rice per year,” he added.
“We are confident that these contracts will help us achieve the target of 6 million tonnes rice export this year.”
In the first five months of 2021, Thailand has exported 1.77 million tonnes of rice valued at $1.14 billion, down 31 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year. The department cited shipping container shortage, increasing freight fees and the fact that Thai rice is more expensive than that of competitors as reasons behind the drop in exports.