By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
THE Rice Policy Management Committee yesterday agreed to sell 1.11 tonnes of rice to 29 traders, which should earn the country Bt11.54 billion.
Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said that with demand for rice rising in the market, the government could gain a good price from the latest auction.
The traders were among the 64 that joined the year’s fourth round of bidding for 2.23 million tonnes of rice.
The government has managed to dispose of 6.59 million tonnes of its rice worth Bt69 billion via tender in the past two years, leaving 9.5 million tonnes in its inventory. It will try to unload as much of this rice as possible this year. The government will continue to release rice via many methods including open general auctions to serve both domestic and overseas consumption during the drought.
“The drought has caused lower rice supplies. The government will try to manage rice stocks efficiently and be aware of the impact on the rice price in the market,” Duangporn said.
Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said the government planned to continue selling rice under government-to-government contracts with many countries.
Recently, the Philippines and Indonesia showed strong interest in placing a big order for rice from Thailand – for more than a million tonnes combined.
The ministry will send a mission to promote rice sales to many markets with potential, including Singapore, South Africa, Mozambique and Oman, which is seen as the gateway to East African countries.