The cultivation of rice in Thailand is responsible for contributing significantly both to the country’s economy and to its workforce, having many Thailand rice exporter. In 2017, the total value of all rice sold in Thailand was 174.5 billion baht, which is equivalent to around 12.9% of the total agricultural output. According to one estimate, rice farmers make up 16 million of Thailand’s 40 million people who are employed in agriculture.

Rice cultivation has a significant historical significance in Thailand, as well as having the Thai rice exporter. It is the fifth greatest area of land in the world that is used for rice farming, and it is the second largest rice exporter Thailand in the world. The current rice-growing regions in Thailand include 9.2 million hectares, but the country has plans to expand those areas by an additional 500,000 hectares, which is big news for all the rice exporter in Bangkok. This would bring the total amount of rice-growing land in Thailand to 23 million acres. Rice, including the sunlee jasmine rice, is grown on exactly one-half of all the land that is farmed in Thailand.

Thailand Rice History

Up until the 1960s, the majority of rice cultivation in Thailand was carried out by peasants who farmed tiny plots of land and produced only a limited quantity of rice. Rice production was centered on the delta formed by the Chao Phraya River. Agriculture was responsible for a significant amount of Thailand’s overall output, and the majority of the country’s population was employed in the sector. The tremendous emphasis placed on agriculture can be traced back to two primary factors: the huge quantity of land that was made accessible for agricultural use and the measures implemented by the government to clean up the land and safeguard the rights of peasants. The government assisted peasants in gaining access to land, and the government also defended them against aristocratic landowners.

Because of the position taken by the government, urban merchants were unable to exert a significant amount of influence on the Thai rice business. Instead of focusing on the total output, the government was concerned with the welfare of individual farmers. As a direct consequence of this, Thailand was able to maintain a high level of egalitarianism, self-sufficiency, and resistance to government interference. The vast majority of rice farmers had their own property, and it was usual practice for farmers to trade labor with one another. Rice output was often not much more than required for the farmers to maintain their standard of living.

Importance of Rice in Thailand

Rice has an essential role in Thai culture. In Thailand, more than half of the country’s labor force and fertile land is devoted to rice production. Rice will be grown in four million of Thailand’s eight million agricultural households in the year 2020. The average annual intake of a Thai person in 2013 was 114.57 kg, indicating that it is one of the most important foods and sources of nourishment for the majority of Thai inhabitants. [18] Rice is another one of Thailand’s most important exports. The industry is in danger, despite the fact that it is very important to the country. Dr. Suthad Setboonsarng identifies the following as the three most significant dangers:

(I) an increase in competition in the international market; 

(II) an increase in competition with other economic activities that leads to an increase in the cost of production, particularly the cost of labor; and 

(III) a deterioration in the conditions of the environment. The research conducted at Rice must provide solutions to these problems.

Thailand Rice Economy

It is projected that Thailand will export $3.88 billion worth of rice in 2020, making it the world’s second-biggest rice exporter. Rice was Thailand’s 11th most exported product in the same year that it was shipped. The United States ($726 Million), South Africa ($327 Million), China ($269 Million), Benin ($214 Million), and Hong Kong ($187 Million) are the top five destinations for rice exported from Thailand. Between 2019 and 2020, the United States ($81.3 M), Niger ($69.8 M), and Indonesia ($33.4 M) were the export markets for Thai rice that had the greatest rate of growth in terms of revenue.

In the year 2020, Thailand became the 118th greatest importer of Rice in the world, having brought in a total of $22.3 million worth of the grain. During the same year, rice ranked as the 625th most popular commodity imported into Thailand. Burma ($8.45 Million), Vietnam ($3 Million), India ($2.55 Million), China ($1.7 Million), and the United States ($1.67 Million) are the top five countries from which Thailand buys rice. China ($1.7 Million), India ($1.41 Million), and Burma ($1.28 Million) were Thailand’s top three fastest-growing import markets for rice during the period between 2019 and 2020.

Thai Rice Trading

According to a report published by the Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Global Agricultural Information Network, the weather phenomenon known as La Niña will bring abundant precipitation and water supplies to rice farmers in Thailand, resulting in 20 million tons of rice being produced in the marketing year 2022-23. This represents a 2% increase in the amount of rice produced in 2021-22. (FAS).

Rice exports are expected to reach 8 million tons in 2022, according to projections made by the FAS Bangkok Post of the USDA. This figure represents a 31% increase from the 6.1 million tons exported in 2021. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States stated that the depreciation of the Thai baht has made Thai rice export prices appealing and competitive. At present, rates for Thai rice are competitive in comparison to those of other exporting nations, and merchants foresee growth in demand for Thai rice for the balance of the year 2022.

Rice Imports in Thailand

The demand for milling wheat has declined more than the increased need for feed wheat, which has resulted in a downward revision of wheat imports for the 2022-2023 fiscal year to 2.7 million tons. Wheat imports in 2022-23 are still 8% larger than they were in 2021-22, notwithstanding the decrease. Despite an anticipated rise in the number of visitors from other countries, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reduced milling wheat imports to 1.1 million tons. This amount is unchanged from the previous year.

“Due to worries about high import costs of milling wheat, flour mills are being careful in building up their stockpiles of milling wheat and flour,” the Food and Agriculture Service (FAS) stated. “In addition, bakeries have reduced manufacturing of baked items since production expenses have increased by 20%,” The FAS forecasts that the amount of feed wheat imported will rise to 1.6 million tons, which is a 14% increase over the volume imported in the previous year. As a result of the economic recovery, merchants anticipate a high demand for poultry exports, which will lead to an increased demand for feed wheat and other feed components used in poultry production. 

Thailand Rice Exportation

Listed down below is the ranking of the top Thailand rice exporters, as per Asia Golden Rice Co., Ltd.:

  1. The Group of Asia Golden Rice Co., Ltd. has 792,873 MT (metric tons).
  2. The Group of Capital Rice Co., Ltd., having 649,443MT.
  3. The Group of C.P.Intertrade Co., Ltd., having 471,715 MT.
  4. The Golden Granary Co., Ltd. has 345,478 MT.
  5. The Group of Thai Hua (2511) Co., Ltd., having 240,669 MT.
  6. Other thai rice exporters, having 3,224,502 MT.

Thailand has boosted its export objective for rice to 7.5 million tons for this year, up from the previous target of 7 million tons, as a result of greater production and a weaker baht in the context of global food shortages. Thailand is the world’s third-largest rice exporter, after India and Vietnam. From January to July of this year, Thailand sent out 4.09 million tons of rice, representing a year-over-year increase of 54%.

Favorable weather in the nation has led to an increase in rice output, and the weak baht has maintained the pricing of Thai rice competitive. When measured against the dollar, the Thai baht was trading at a level that was close to becoming its worst in more than 15 years. The demand for rice produced in Thailand has increased as a result of nations’ efforts to improve their food security and substitute wheat and maize in the production of animal feed. The Ministry of Agriculture projected that paddy rice production would reach 26.92 million tons in the 2022/23 crop year, representing a 2.09% increase over the previous crop year.

To sum it up…

The Thai people rely heavily on rice as their primary source of nutrition, as well as their primary source of foreign currency earnings and work opportunities. Rice production accounts for around 15% of the country’s agricultural GDP, making it the most economically important crop in the country. Rice also ranks top among agricultural goods. In terms of revenue from exports, it came in second place, after rubber.

There is no other crop that provides food for as many people, sustains as many farmers, or is as important to the environment all across the world as rice. Rice is much more than a simple food crop; for the impoverished in Asia, for whom rice is sometimes the only source of income, it is a way of life. In fact, Asia is home to 70 percent of the world’s poor. Thailand is the world’s third-largest rice exporter, behind India and Vietnam. During the period from January to July 2022, Thailand shipped 4.09 million tons of rice, which is a 54% increase from the previous year. Rice is considered not only a basic meal in Thailand but also a holy plant that has its own spirit, life, and soul, in addition to its role as a staple food. 

Visit the website located at if you are interested in discovering more about the rice cultivation and economics of Thailand.