Thailand’s rice exports have topped 10 million tonnes this year, in line with an initial government target, but the commerce minister said on Thursday shipments are expected to rise further when a deal to sell to Bangladesh is finalised.

The world’s second-biggest rice supplier after India has exported 10.2 million tonnes of rice so far this year, worth 150 billion baht (S$6.1 billion), according to data from the Thai customs department.

Thailand had initially targeted rice exports of 10 million tonnes for this year, but the government said in August it could ship out as much as 11 million tonnes.

A government-to-government deal to sell 150,000 tonnes of 5-per cent parboiled rice to Bangladesh is close to being finalised and shipping is expected to start next month, said Commerce minister Apiradi Tantraporn.

“The big purchase volume from Bangladesh…will have a positive impact on Thai rice prices and help boost Thailand’s 2017 exports to exceed the 10-million-tonne target,” Mr Apiradi told reporters.

The commerce ministry also said it has a government-to-government deal to sell 100,000 tonnes of white rice to China next year.

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