Govt auctioning 140,000 tonnes of rice tomorrow

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BANGKOK, Oct 24 – Over 20 rice traders are keen to bid on the government’s new batch of 140,000 tonnes of premium quality rice, according to the Commerce Ministry.

Somchart Sroythong, Internal Trade Department director general, said the Ministry will auction 100,000 tonnes of 5 per cent white rice and 30,000-40,000 tonnes of 100 per cent Hom Mali rice, second grade, through the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET) tomorrow.

He said the ministry would release one million tonnes of rice in five auctions through AFET until the middle of next year.

The Commerce Ministry will speed up selling tapioca chips in its stocks to prepare for the new 2013/2014 harvest, he said.

About 100,000 tonnes of tapioca chips currently remain in government stocks.

The Tapioca Policy Committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan,  decided in a recent meeting to pledge tapioca price for the 2013/2014 crop, starting from December to next March to help farmers.

The subsidy involves the purchase of 10 million tonnes of tapioca at Bt2.60/kg while the current market price is Bt2.30-2.50/kg.

The proposal, aimed at assisting farmers as the new harvest is approaching, will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval.

It was originally estimated that Thai farmers would produce 28 million tonnes of tapioca this year.