BANGKOK, 18 Mar 2014 — The Commerce Ministry has scheduled a new round of rice auction through the Agricultural Future Exchange of Thailand (AFET) for tomorrow while confirming the next round of AFET auction on March 26 will continue as planned.
Mr. Somchart Soithong, Director General of the Department of Internal Trade (DIT) said tomorrow’s auction will be the 7th of its kind and will involve 240,000 tons of rice. It will be conducted at the Miracle Grand Hotel, after the previously planned auction on February 12 was aborted by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protesters. The 8th AFET auction on March 26 will seek to sell 200,000 tons in the government’s rice stockpiles.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Ministry has started distributing low-priced 5-kg rice packs to the market. Director General Somchart elaborated that the ministry has the policy to turn up to 5,000 tons of rice in the government’s warehouses into small packed rice to be priced at 80-90 baht per pack. The revenue generated from the sale of packed rice will be used to pay farmers who are waiting for money for their rice already sold to the government under the rice mortgage scheme.
The first lot of 200 bags of the packed rice has already been put on shelves at the Commerce Ministry office in Nonthaburi province. The next batch is expected to come out at the end of next week.