BANGKOK, Feb 13 – Eighteen rice traders have joined a bidding event to buy nearly 500,000 tonnes of rice under the government’s subsidy scheme, according to a senior Commerce Ministry official.
Surasak Riangkrul, Foreign Trade Department director general, said the newest batch of rice offered for auction, weighing 467,622 tonnes, was from three crops between 2011 and 2014.
He said the private sector was keen on buying rice from the subsidy programme.
Bid winners will be announced today and rice would be delivered to them in a few months.
He said the Commerce Ministry will organise another tender next week for at least 500,000 tonnes of rice to be exported.
Mr Surasak said the Commerce Ministry has so far submitted Bt170-180 billion from rice auctions to the Finance Ministry, adding that at least Bt15 billion was sent to the Finance Ministry in the last two months.
Caretaker Deputy Commerce Minister Yanyong Phuangrach said the government should earn nearly Bt10 billion from the latest auction of 460,000 tonnes of rice.
The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will be asked to speed up payments to the financially-stressed farmers, he said.