BANGKOK, 21 February 2014 The Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) has dismissed the rumor that the Thai government has released rice from its stockpile to Indonesia at lower-than-market prices.
In response to a remark by a high-ranking official of the Indonesian Ministry of Trade regarding the Thai government’s sell-off of rice at discounted prices, DFT Director-General Surasak Riangkrul denied the information as false, believing the statement was based on misunderstanding. He insisted that the prices of Thai rice had been set in accordance with the market mechanism and Thailand never gave any price cut to Indonesia during the past couple of years.
News about the dumping of rice was previously spread by the Indonesian media, citing the Trade Ministry official as saying that Indonesian rice was losing its market share to the cheaper Thai rice while the unfair pricing was severely distorting the market mechanism. Similar claims have also been made by other rice producing nations like Cambodia and Vietnam, and there has been a movement to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) about the matter.
Should such a complaint reach the WTO, Mr Surasak expressed confidence that the DFT would be able to come up with evidence and shed light on the issue.