The estimated rise in Thailand's 2008-09 corn crop of 3.7 million tons, up
from the proceeding year's 3.6 million tons, is expected to double Thai corn
exports on surging foreign demand, following India's recent corn export ban
through October 15th.
The Indian ban has pushed Thai export corn prices to $350 per ton, up from
$280 in late June and would probably rise further if demand continues to outpace
supply, as exporters compete with feed producers to buy corn, primarily for the
main buyers in Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
producers have requested permission from the Commerce Ministry to raise their
selling price by 20% to help offset the higher cost of corn which should remain
high for the rest of the year.
Urgent review of farmland
Skyrocketing food prices, drastic changes in the use of farmland and
increasing fears of foreign invasion into the farm sector, has prompted the Thai
authorities to determine the exact size of Thailand's farming area, - around
130-131 million rai, - based on the statistics of the Office of Agricultural
Economics (OAE) statistics.
Farmland over the years, says Apichart
Jongskul, OAE secretary-general, has been threatened by rapid urbanization, and
more recently by "foreign invasions" of farming areas and it is important at
this time, he says, to consider possible measures; including tax schemes, more
support for farm owners, such as better marketing strategies and product-price
support to encourage them to keep their land.
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