BANGKOK, 17 Mar 2014 Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan is today calling a meeting of related officials to discuss the rice situation and review the Ministry’s strategy to sell the stockpiled rice.
The ministry has borrowed 20 billion baht from the Finance Ministry to pay the farmers who have yet to receive the rice support program compensation. And in order to return the money to the Finance Ministry within the time frame set by the Election Commission, the Commerce Ministry has to raise 8-10 billion baht a month from the rice sale.
Today’s agenda also includes the ministry’s request to ask the Cabinet to approve the extension of a memorandum of understanding made with the Philippines which will entitle Thailand to participate in rice-selling auction in that country. The MoU is required to be renewed every four years. The Philippines’ new rice auction is scheduled this April and will command a supply of 800,000 tons.
The ministry will also propose to the Cabinet for consideration a plan to hold road shows to promote Thai rice in foreign countries.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Trade is prepared to report a rising trend of rice price as a result of the prevailing drought which is affecting the rice production in all 3 major rice producers — Thailand, India and Vietnam. The department anticipated the rice price in the Q2 would be higher than the average 430 dollars per ton mark.