Commerce Ministry confirms no shortage of rice

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BANGKOK, July 21 – Thailand will definitely not experience a rice shortage as more than one million tonnes of rice is in government stock, while rice mills and exporters also hold a large amount of rice, Permanent Secretary for Commerce Yanyong Puangrach assured consumers on Thursday.

Speaking in an interview on Modernine (Channel 9) television, Mr Yanyong, conceded, however, that bagged rice producers, who stockpiled less rice and have a problem in negotiating with rice mills with large amounts of rice in stock, may be concerned about the amount of rice in the market.

In an attempt to allay concerns, the permanent secretary for commerce said that in late July and August, about two million tonnes of off-season rice will hit the market. In addition, the Thai Rice Millers Association seeks cooperation from rice mills nationwide to help release rice in their stocks if there is insufficient supply in the market. The move is in line with the market mechanism and it is not speculating on rice prices in response to the planned rice mortgage scheme of the new government.

“Thailand does not face a rice shortage and does not need to slow down rice exports,” he asserted.

Currently, Thailand exports 800,000 tonnes of rice each month. Thai rice prices reflect  rice prices in the world market.

If rice prices in the global market increase, domestic rice prices will also rise. However, the government and the commerce ministry are prepared to help consumers. The rice in the government’s reserve will be distributed at the last prices before the capital cost has increased, he said.