Thailand is preparing for a potential drought that could have lasting effects on global supplies of sugar and rice. The country is expecting below-average rainfall this monsoon season, and the onset of the El Niño weather pattern could worsen the situation over the next two years. This widespread drought is expected to start in early 2024, posing risks to the economy and inflation. Farmers are being advised to conserve water and avoid planting a second rice crop. Thailand’s status as the world’s second-largest rice supplier could also be threatened. Experts warn that a severe El Niño could reduce the country’s gross domestic product by 0.2 percentage points this year. El Niño is a climate pattern associated with warming ocean temperatures, occurring every two to seven years.