They will, said the Bangkok Post yesterday with a breaking news story:

Thai rice exports in 2013 are expected to fall for the second year to an estimated 6.5 million tonnes, due largely to strong market competition and thin demand, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

This is far lower than the 8.5 million tonnes projected by the Commerce Ministry.

Low demand from major buyers China, Indonesia and the Philippines, and higher demand for rice from Vietnam and India, were to blame for the decline, association president Korbsook Iamsuri said.

Thai rice exports dropped sharply by 35% to 6.9 million tonnes in 2012 and exporters put blame on the state’s rice pledging policy, which paid over-the-market for pawned rice and meant the Thai crop was less competitive on the global market.

Then, again very early morning, the Bangkok Post:

Thai rice exports this year may fall for the second year to 6.5 million tonnes due largely to strong market competition and weak global demand, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

The volume is far lower than 8.5 million tonnes projected by the Commerce Ministry for this year.

Sluggish demand from major buyers _ China, Indonesia, and the Philippines _ and large shipments from Vietnam and India were attributed to the decline, according to Korbsook Iamsuri, president of the association.

Bloomberg with an article entitled “Thailand Set to Reclaim Top Rice-Exporter Slot as Sales Advance”:

Rice shipments from Thailand are poised to surge 15 percent this year to help the country win back the top-exporter slot as the government accelerates sales from its record stockpiles, an industry group said.

Exports may climb to 8 million metric tons this calendar year, assuming sales of 1.5 million tons from state inventories, from 6.95 million tons in 2012, said the Thai Rice Exporters Association. India and Vietnam sold more than Thailand last year as shipments tumbled 35 percent to the lowest level since 2000, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

….
“The 8-million-ton target will be achieved as the government has to speed up government-to-government sales,” the group’s president Korbsook Iamsuri, told reporters in Bangkok. Thailand has around 17 million tons of milled rice in stockpiles, the group estimates.

Stockpiles in Thailand will climb to a record 11.7 million tons in the 2012-2013 season, according to the USDA, which estimates Thai export at 8 million tons, followed by India at 7.5 million tons and Vietnam at 7.4 million tons.

BP: These are two completely different stories quoting the same person. Did the Bangkok Post and Bloomberg hear completely different things? Hence, it is a question of reliability and who do you think is more reliable, the Bangkok Post or Bloomberg?

P.S. Argh, the problem with writing things a few hours in advance and setting publish is that the business section of the Bangkok Post has published the Bloomberg article on the Post Web site mentioning the increase to the 8 million tonne figure although the other two news stories are still online without any changes.