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Thailand's rice export up 27 pct in 1st 5 months

BANGKOK, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's rice export volume for the first five months of the year surged 26.64 percent from a year earlier to 3.47 million tons due to stronger global demand and a weak Thai baht, a Ministry of Commerce official said on Friday.

The country's rice export during the January-May period was valued at 1,896 million U.S. dollars, up 30.58 percent year-on-year, said Ronnarong Phoolpipat, director general of the ministry's foreign trade department.

Thai rice export expects to exceed 8 million tons in 2023, beating the ministry's target of 7.5 to 8.0 million tons, Ronnarong told a news conference.

The Thai Rice Exporters Association honorary president, Chookiat Ophaswongse, said on Tuesday that countries are stockpiling rice as they are concerned about the drought caused by the El Nino phenomenon.

Chookiat said he believes the Southeast Asian country will have enough rice stock for exports despite the impact of climate change.

As one of the world's major rice exporters, 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, China and the United States.