By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
The ministry also aims to return almost Bt200 billion to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) by the end of this year, including the Bt169 billion it has already paid.
Deputy Commerce Minister Yanyong Phuangrach said the government should have no problem managing the stockpiles, despite more rice coming in from the continued pledging programme.
"Many countries have shown high interest in purchasing several thousand to several million tonnes of rice from Thailand to supply their domestic consumption. The ministry plans gradually to ship about 6 million to 7 million tonnes a year under G2G, as well as to private importers," he said.
He added that the government would retain between 3 million and 4 million tonnes in its stockpiles each year to ensure adequate supply for domestic consumption, as well as to help other countries in case of shortages or disasters.
According to the ministry, the government is currently holding about 15 million tonnes of rice in its stockpiles. Of this amount, 5 million tonnes already has shipment contracts. Under the ministry’s plan, it will sell its stocks under G2G contracts, to government agencies, and to private importers. It will also ask private exporters to ship more rice to overseas markets.
The ministry clarified that it had returned Bt169.01 billion from its rice-sale income to the BAAC between October 2011 and this month.
Yanyong said the ministry should earn an additional Bt30 billion to refund to the bank by the end of this year.