Thailand to sell 400,000 tonnes of rice to China this month


China has initially agreed to buy 400,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand, pending an official contract this month, said caretaker Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan.

He said the Foreign Trade Department director general informed of the success in rice sales on a government-to-government basis to China upon his return from the country.

He said the Chinese government also accepted a proposal that the rice purchase agreement could be changed in case the new Thai government takes office.

He said the Commerce Ministry could release 110,000 tonnes through the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET) yesterday, contributing to total sales of 800,000 tonnes through February.

Money will gradually come in from the rice sales at about Bt8 billion a month, he said, adding that the government would have nearly Bt50 billion, including borrowing from the central fund, to pay farmers for the rice pledging scheme this month.