Commerce Ministry postpones rice auction via AFET

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BANGKOK, 9 Aug 2013 The Commerce Ministry prepares for the auction of 200,000 tons of pledged rice next week while postponing the rice auction through the AFET by another 2 weeks. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan revealed after a meeting with the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET) that the Ministry has instructed the Internal Trade Department and its Public Warehouse Organization to coordinate with the Budget Bureau and the Comptroller General’s Department to find deposit payments for the AFET’s various fees.

The AFET demands 250 million baht worth of insurance for selling 500,000 tons of rice within 6 months.

Mr. Niwatthamrong stated the Commerce Ministry is planning to auction off 100,000 tons of rice at a time through the AFET, at an estimated cost of 80 million baht. The AFET rice auction was previously set on August 15th, but due to the uncertainty when the budget would be approved, the ministry has decided to postpone the auction at a later date.

Minister Niwatthamrong however expressed his optimism that the auction would be commenced at the beginning of September. In addition, he said that the ministry would give priority to clearing out high quality jasmine rice harvested this year.

He said next week another batch of 200,000 tons of pledged rice will be auctioned, adding he has instructed the Department of Foreign Trade to quickly re-negotiate a government to government rice deal with Iraq after that country has paused orders for Thai rice for more than 3 years.