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Thailand Reduces Rice Output Forecast by 2.4% After Flooding

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Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand, the world’s largest rice exporter, cut its estimate for output from the main harvest by 2.4 percent after floods damaged farmland, a state agency said.

Production from the nation’s main crop, which accounts for about 70 percent of total output, may reach 24.5 million metric tons, from an earlier estimate of 25.1 million tons, Apichart Jongskul, secretary-general of the Office of Agricultural Economics, said in a phone interview today.

As many as 166 people have been killed in the past two months as floodwaters spread across 57 of Thailand’s 77 provinces, according to the government. Heavy rain has damaged an estimated 700,000 tons of unmilled rice, Apichart said. About 5.2 million rai (837,120 hectares) of rice land has been inundated, the farm ministry said on its website.

Thailand’s main crop is planted in May and harvested in October.

About 4.55 million tons of unmilled rice will be harvested during August and September from 8.8 million rai of rice land, according to estimates submitted to Cabinet today by Thailand’s Commerce Ministry.

To contact the reporter on this story: Supunnabul Suwannakij in Bangkok at ssuwannakij@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tony Jordan at tjordan3@bloomberg.net

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