Thailand corn output forecast to increase by 24%

February 8, 2021 - Thailand’s MY2020/21 off-season rice planting area was well above last year, but production is unlikely to recover as water supplies are still limited, according to the GAIN report published by USDA.

Post’s forecast for MY2020/21 rice production remains unchanged at 18.6 million metric tons, up only around 5 percent from MY2019/20. Thai rice exports declined to a record low 5.7 million metric tons in 2020 but are expected to increase to 7 million metric tons in 2021, which is still far below average rice exports over the past five years.

Post’s forecast for MY2020/21 corn production remains unchanged at 5.6 million metric tons, a 24 percent increase from MY2019/20 due to acreage expansion and favorable weather conditions. Farmgate prices of corn in January 2021 were around 8,100 baht per metric ton (U.S. $272/MT), up 4 percent from the same period last year and well above the average farm-gate prices over the past five years. The higher prices were mainly driven by anticipated reduced supplies of duty-free corn imports from Myanmar.

In the first half of MY2020/21, wheat imports totaled 1.6 million metric tons, down 7 percent from the same period last year due to reduced imports of milling and feed wheat, and wheat flour. Post’s forecast for MY2020/21 wheat imports remain unchanged at 3 million metric tons, down 14 percent from MY2019/20. Milling wheat imports are expected to decline to 1.2 million metric tons, down 9 percent from MY2019/20 as domestic consumption of wheat-based food is unlikely to recover in MY2020/21.

The reemergence of COVID19 in Thailand and abroad between December 2020 and January 2021 is forecast to slow down the economic recovery that was expected in 2021.