Govt boosts maize exports to stimulate prices


BANGKOK, Oct 22 – Thailand’s Commerce Ministry has targeted the export of 500,000 tonnes of maize by year-end in an attempt to increase the price of the animal feed, a senior official said today.

Somchart Soithong, Internal Trade Department director general, said six exporters who joined the ministry’s price intervention scheme have exported more than 40,000 tonnes of maize as animal feed and October exports should amount to at least 100,000 tonnes.

The Cabinet has approved a price intervention programme to purchase maize from farmers at no less than Bt7 per kilogramme with a purchase target of 1.8 million tonnes by December.

The Commerce Ministry has already bought 200,000 tonnes of maize, at a total of Bt1.5 billion, from farmers, he said.

Since the price intervention for the 2013/2014 harvest, maize price has increased to Bt8.10-8.20/kg – much higher than the  guaranteed price at Bt7/kg.

The intervention may not be necessary if farmers could sell maize at higher price, he said.

Surachart Kahintapong, managing director of Thien Hong Trading Co – a major Thai maize exporter, said the export price has been slightly higher than those quoted by overseas competitors but demand in the global market remained high and quality was an important factor.