Rice shipments out of Thailand are expected to fare better than the government’s target of 10 million tonnes because of price competitiveness and recovering exports of hom mali fragrant rice, shippers say. Even so, that amount would be insufficient to retake the title of world’s leading rice exporter from India, leaving Thailand in the No.2 spot for a second straight year in 2016. Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said India has so far shipped 700,000 tonnes more than Thailand and at year-end its rice shipments are likely to reach at least 10.5 million. In a July 28 report, the US Agriculture Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service said India’s rice production was forecast at 105 million tonnes harvested from 44 million hectares. This compares with 103.5 million tonnes harvested from 43.5 million hectares in the 2015-16 market year.