Foreign Trade Dept to speed up rice distribution

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BANGKOK, 9 May 2013 The Commerce Minister has ordered the Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) to speedily release rice in stock both into domestic and foreign markets. 

Speaking at a ceremony to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the DFT, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said he had entrusted the DFT to sell rice stored in the government’s warehouses under the rice-pledging program. He also urged the DFT to come up with clear measures in doing so.

The minister also said that rice exports have been hit hard by the appreciation of Thai currency, and it is the job of the Bank of Thailand (BoT) to take control of the strong baht situation. If the Thai baht depreciated, the country’s agricultural exports would return to normal. And if the baht remained this strong for the rest of the year, Thailand would not be able to reach the rice export target of 8.5 million tons, he said.