DIT pins packed rice price, expects shortage to ease soon

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BANGKOK, 19 July 2011 – The Department of Internal Trade (DIT) has decided not to raise the price of packed rice for now as the shortage of paddy is expected to subside within 2-3 weeks when the new lot of supply reaches the market.

After convening with the Thai Rice Mills Association and the Thai Farmers Association, DIT Director-General Vatchari Vimooktayon said it was discovered that the soaring price of paddy affecting rice packers during this period partly stemmed from a rise in export activities, which had led to lower supply and higher demand in the domestic market. Over the past six months and a half, Thailand has exported nearly 7 million tons of paddy.

Another major factor for the paddy shortage is the unproductive off-season rice cultivation this year. Nonetheless, Ms Vatchari pointed out that the second lot of the off-season yield would likely be released into the market within the next 2-3 weeks while the on-season cultivation would begin shortly afterwards, which would allow the shortage situation to die down.

Therefore, the DIT Director-General said the meeting agreed that there was no need to increase the price of packed rice at this moment since the production cost was still the same despite the supply shrinkage. She affirmed that the current price of paddy of 9,000-9,800 THB per ton and the price of milled rice of 15 THB per kilogram were already at the appropriate levels and thus urged rice packers not to find an excuse to raise the price of their products.