The Oasis Reporters
March 4. 2018
Nigerian government propaganda would have you believe that the importation of Asian rice into Nigeria has grossly reduced because domestic production has increased, making Thailand to blame Nigeria for redundancies in its rice mills.
If you believed that, you’ve been lied to, big time.
Come over to Bangkok and hear the real truth, served here.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Thai currency, baht, has been rising and getting stronger, while the Nigerian currency keeps plunging.
This has made Thailand rice unaffordable to Nigerian importers.
And Nigerians are already aware of what currency policies the Buhari administration pursued that led to the currency plunge and the recession which inevitably followed.
The second reason that made Thailand rice unavailable in Africa’s most populous nation is the falling output in the Asian country making them export less rice such that exporters risk missing 9.5 million metric tons target for 2018, in a report by APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT, Nikkei staff writer in Bangkok, quoting the Thai Rice Exporters Association.
The 2018 rice export target was set at around 18% lower than the record figure of 11.6 million tons achieved the previous year, said Charoen Laothamatas, president of the association.
“The stronger baht was the major problem for rice exports this year, as it makes the price of Thai rice unattractively high compared with the prices of competitors.”Charoen said the figure of 9.5 million tons was set at the end of last year. However, the baht rose more than 9% in 2017 and has gone up another 3.1% so far this year to 31.6 per dollar.
The strengthening baht is tied to both Thailand’s relatively healthy economic outlook and overseas investors chasing funds to reap foreign exchange gains amid a weakening dollar.
“We will be monitoring the baht’s movement closely during the first quarter of this year and, if it continues to rise, the association will revise down the 2018 rice export target,” he added.
The Dong, in contrast, rose by just 1%, while the Rupee rose 6%, making rice from Vietnam and India considerably cheaper.
The going rate for premium grade Thai fragrant rice was $1,200 a ton in February 2018, almost double the $650 being asked for a ton of the same grade produced in Vietnam. Charoen said global demand would remain strong as major importing countries like the Philippines and Indonesia were expected to buy 1-1.5million tons this year.
In addition, rising oil prices are likely to help strengthen the purchasing power of Middle Eastern rice importers.
“Demand is there, but the problem is which origin the client will buy from,” said Charoen.
The Philippines, Indonesia and Middle Eastern countries are the most serious buyers of Thailand rice and Nigeria was not even dignified with a sideline mention.
Therefore where did Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister, Audu Ogbeh who was a minister about 39 years ago, and still a minister in this present dispensation get the idea from that rice mills were shutting down because Nigeria had reduced it’s rice imports from Thailand?
Making Nigerians wonder why propaganda and lies should be the chief cornerstone of governance and opine that the integrity of the government is suffering a huge deficit due to the officials refusing to be honest enough to tell truths to the governed.
Additional reporting from Nikkei Asian Review