Thailand is set to overtake India as the world's largest rice exporter as the country accelerates sales from state stockpiles, adding to record global supplies, according to the International Rice Research Institute.
Shipments from India may drop to as low as seven million metric tonnes in the year that began Oct 1, said Samarendu Mohanty, a senior economist. Exports including the aromatic basmati variety more than tripled to 10.4 million tonnes the previous year, said the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Thailand plans to ship 8.5 million tonnes in 2013 from 7.3 million tonnes this year, according to the Department of Foreign Trade.
Rising Thai supplies may increase competition among Asian producers and pressure prices that have risen 1.2% in Chicago this year. A decline in the staple for half the world may further lower food costs that the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates dropped 0.9% in October from a six-month high. Global opening stockpiles for 2012 to 2013 will climb to the highest in a decade, the USDA says.
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