BANGKOK, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Rice prices in the global market for 2010 are likely to increase due mainly to lower crop production resulting from natural disasters, said Vichak Visetnoi, Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade (DFT), a state- owned media reported Friday.
As externally the rice supply is falling, but on the demand side it is seen continuously rising, hence many foreign countries are expected to import more rice, the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT) under the state-owned Public Relations Department, quoted Vichak as saying.
Planned bids for rice imports in March, 2010, by the Philippines will be another factor, which will boost the global price of rice, he said.
Vichak disclosed that during Jan. 1 to Feb. 17, 2010, some 1.11 million tons of Thai rice, worth of 694 million U.S. dollars, were exported by Thailand.
Thailand is the world's largest rice exporter.