Thailand’s top raw material cash crops include rice, natural rubber, cassava, corn, sugar cane, palm oil.
USA’s top raw material cash crops include corn, wheat, sugar beats and hemp. List is not exhaustive. Following are key contexts into cash crops.
- For most of the late 21st century Thailand had traditionally been the world’s leading rice producer and exporter, but has faced stiff competition in recent years by India and Vietnam, in addition to internal political and policy factors that have impacted production and trade performance.
- Thai rice futures are traded via the AFET
- There are many types of rice that can be traded on on the international market, see this link for descriptions.
- Thailand is consistently the world’s largest producer of natural rubber, along with Malaysia and Indonesia; combined the countries supply more than 70% of the world’s natural rubber
- In 2014, Thailand produced more than a third of all the world’s rubber (36%)
- It is estimated that 70% of all natural rubber is used for he production of automobile tyres; the rest is used in other latex products including sealants, additives and condoms.
- Rubber is a key component in the automobile and marine industry.
- in 2014, Thailand was the world’s 12th most productive automobile producer with aprox. 1.8 million vehicles.
- Thailand’s biggest natural rubber client is China, which in 2014 acquired 56% of all Thai rubber exports, or 2.1 million metric tonnes out of 3.7 total exports
- In 2014, the USA imported about 146,794 tonnes of natural rubber from Thailand, about 4% of Thailand’s rubber exports
- Cassava is used in Thailand for the production of ethanol, which is then used to supplement petroleum-based fuel (gasoline) in the production of “gasohol”, which is offered to consumers in varying mixtures, namely E-20 (up to 20% ethanol) and E-85 (ranging from 50-85% ethanol content)
- As of 2006, the US was the first country to produce ethanol fuel, using corn, which continues to be its respective prime source of ethanol fuel.
- In 2011, the US produced 13.9 billion gallons or 52.6 billion liters of ethanol fuel.
- In 2011, Thailand’s demand (consumption of) for ethanol was about 1 billion liters
- A majority of US-corn is protected by Biotechnology Intellectual Property patents based on genetic modifications.
- Patents are held on certain hybrid corn species in Thailand (but not yet enforceable if based on GM)
- The Cannabis plant has a multitude of products, including hemp, food, medicine, building materials, oil and clothes