According to sources, the Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) of Thailand has estimated that paddy rice production in 2015-16 may push to the lowest level in 19 years due to the extending drought conditions and water shortages. The OAE official informed that the Thai paddy rice production may fall to 22.98 million tons in 2015-16, which is as low as about 30% from around 32.62 million tons of previous year.
Further, in this regard, the farmers are likely to be restricted to plant rice between November 1, 2015 to April
30, 2016 due to water shortages. But, the Cabinet is yet to make an official announcement regarding the same. It has also been reported that lower rice production in Thailand and in other Asian nations is due to the drought inducing El Nino pattern is expected to tighten global rice supplies which may further impact the prices.
As per sources, a potential fall in output could gradually boost prices by up to $20 a ton by the end of this year; a Bangkok-based trader was quoted. However, the domestic prices may climb to 9,000 to 10,000 baht ($278) a ton from around 8,000 now. So far, the Thailand has about 13.5 million tons in stocks and the targets of the government are to export about 10 million tons of rice in this current year.