Thai floods damage rice, seen delaying shipments

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 12, 2011 3:48 AM

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Floods in Thailand have inundated farms and some rice mills in the central parts of the country, threatening to delay at least 300,000 tonnes of exports due for shipment mainly to Indonesia and Africa this month, three trade sources in Bangkok and Singapore said on Wednesday.

"The situation is really bad as it is raining non-stop, a lot of mills have been affected and a lot paddy which was lying around in the open or under tarpaulin has got submerged," said one trading manager with an international rice exporter in Bangkok.

"We see it as a serious problem."

Two traders confirmed that at least 3000,000 tonnes of rice exports from Thailand would get delayed, forcing buyers to seek alternative origins, such as India and Pakistan.

Thailand is racing to build floodwalls on the outskirts of Bangkok to prevent the worst floods in half a century from inundating parts of the capital later this week when water flowing from the north reaches the low-lying city.

"Even loading for vessels which are waiting for cargo will get delayed," said another trader from Bangkok. "It is raining heavily, so loadings have fallen and it is difficult to get cargoes alongside the vessel."

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Ramthan Hussain)