The Commerce Ministry is speeding up rice sales to exporters and the private sector to earn and return at least Bt12.3 billion to the national coffers.
Surasak Riangkrul, Foreign Trade Department director general, said the Rice Release Subcommittee has approved the sales of 615,000 tonnes of rice from the 2011/12 and 2012/13 crops.
The rice to be sold under the subsidy programme include 100 per cent, second grade, Hom Mali rice, 5 per cent white glutinous rice, 10 per cent broken-milled rice, and A-1 white broken-milled rice.
CP Rice, Asia Golden Rice, Capital Cereals, Royal Richy Rice and an unnamed joint export group are some of the exporters to buy rice from the Commerce Ministry.
Mr Surasak said the rice sales will enable the Commerce Ministry to pay Bt30 billion to the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives in the final quarter of the year.
He said Thailand’s rice exports will be higher in Q4 due to the government’s rice release from its stockpiles, government-to-government rice sales and domestic sales to the private sector.
He predicted a rosy trend for Thai rice exports next year when at least eight million tonnes of rice, at a total value of US$4.4 billion, will be exported at an average price of US$600/tonne.
Thailand exported 5.68 million tonnes of rice for US$3.817 billion (Bt114.77 billion) from January 1 to November 20 this year – a drop from the corresponding period last year when rice exports reached 6.22 million tonnes, he said.
The Commerce Ministry forecast this year’s rice exports at 8.5 million tonnes for $5.7 billion (Bt171.3 billion) overall. (MCOT online news)