BANGKOK, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Thailand raised its rice export target this year to 8 million tons, up from a previous target of 7.5 million tons, due to higher rice output, a government official said Wednesday.
Thai rice is expected to see higher exports as the global economy is recovering, while the strengthening baht and volatile exchange rate could impact competitiveness, said Anucha Burapachaisri, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister and government spokesman, in a statement.
Rice exports in the first two months this year were recorded at 1.39 million tons, with 52 percent shipped to Asian markets, Anucha said.
Under the government's marketing-led production strategy, the Southeast Asian country plans to increase its rice output by 6 percent from the previous season to 29.3 million tons of paddy in the 2023/24 season, Anucha said in a separate statement released on Tuesday.
Of the total production, 10.12 million tons of milled rice are allocated for domestic consumption, while 8 million tons of milled rice are set for export, and 1.41 million tons of paddy are reserved for seed stock, according to the statement.
Thailand exported 7.69 million tons of rice last year, beating its annual target of 7.5 million tons, with the top markets including Iraq, South Africa and China.