India has emerged as the world’s largest exporter of rice this year. The country that has dominated the trade for 30 years, Thailand, lost its status as the world’s top rice exporter in 2012 as a controversial scheme to boost farmer incomes saw it overtaken by India and Vietnam, an industry group said.
Thailand exported 6.9 million tonnes of rice last year, falling behind India which shipped 9.5 million tonnes and Vietnam which sold 7.8 million tonnes overseas, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.
Thai exports slumped 35% from the 2011 level of about 10.6 million tonnes, based on the group’s figures. “We had been the champion since 1980, for 31 years, but we lost the top spot in 2012,” the group’s honorary president said.