By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
Most of the rice in the government's stocks is in good condition, the Commerce Ministry claims.
The statement followed daily reports from inspection teams about low-quality rice in the government’s warehouses after the inspections started last Thursday.
Boonyarit Kalayanamit, spokesman for the ministry, said most of the rice had been stored under good conditions and had not deteriorated as much as these reports implied.
“Only some lots of rice, which had not been kept according to standards, have deteriorated in quality. Rice consumers and traders should not panic over the news reports. The government has been highly efficient in its stockpiling of rice. The inspection has not yet been completed. The government will surely not sell bad-quality rice,” he said.
He added that once the nationwide inspection is complete, it would soon provide clear evidence rather than rumours about the total amount in the stockpiles and rice quality.
To ensure that consumers and foreign buyers do not lose their confidence in the quality of Thai rice, the ministry has instructed its overseas trade officials to send clarifying letters to foreign importers and the rice-import agencies of each trading partner.
Since July 3, the military’s ruling National Council for Peace and Order has sent 100 teams to inspect rice volume and quality at more than 1,800 warehouses nationwide. The inspection teams are to complete their work by the end of this month.