Commerce Ministry auctioned 200,000 tonnes of rice, only 30,000 tonnes sold

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BANGKOK, Aug 21 – The newest batch of 30,000 tonnes of rice under the government’s pledging scheme will be sold to two companies which won the latest auction, according to a senior Commerce Ministry official.

Pranee Siriphand, director general of the Foreign Trade Department, said Chaiyaporn Rice and Food Products and Asia Golden Rice would be entitled to buy 5 per cent white rice at a combined volume of 30,000 tonnes.

Seven rice trading companies participated in the auction on Monday. The Commerce Ministry put 101,000 tonnes of 5 per cent white rice, 100,000 tonnes of fragrant rice and 10 per cent white glutinous rice for the bidding.

No company proposed suitable prices for either the fragrant rice or the 10 per cent white glutinous rice.

An observer said the bidding received poor response from rice traders and the two companies were selected in the first two auctions.

Results of the auction will be submitted to the commerce minister to find ways to attract more traders and distribution of rice through other channels, a Commerce Ministry official said.

Deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikua said 200,000 tonnes of 5 per cent white rice in the government’s stockpile would be packed in five-kg packages to be sold at Bt85-89 each.

The packaged rice should be sold to the public early next month, he said.