China may buy more rice from Thailand

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BANGKOK, April 10 – China will possibly sign deals to buy one million tonnes of rice from Thailand after its specialists inspected a rice warehouse in Suphan Buri, according to the Thai Commerce Ministry.

Surasak Riangkrul, director general of the Foreign Trade Department, said rice inspectors from China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) – China’s state-owned food processing holding company – were satisfied with the quality of Thai rice.

Besides China, some Middle Eastern countries including Iraq have shown their interest in buying Thai rice, he said.

The Foreign Trade Department yesterday launched a new round of auctions for seven categories of rice from the 2013/2014 crop under the rice pledging scheme to be sold locally and exported, totaling 169,327.99 tonnes from 24 warehouses. There were eight bidders.

It was the first time the government held a regional auction, and in Suphan Buri where a large number of state-owned warehouses are located.

Auctioned rice will be packed into packaged rice for further distribution.

Mr Surasak said the department will hold similar regional auctions in other provinces which will help release rice from state stockpiles. (MCOT online news)