Ministry to auction off 400,000 tonnes of spoiled rice this month

Ministry to auction off 400,000 tonnes of spoiled rice this month

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PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
THE NATION 
July 2, 2016 1:00 am

THE COMMERCE Ministry will on July 25 open bidding for 400,000 tonnes of rotten rice for use in the feed-meal and other non-food industries under the plan to continue clear up the government’s rice stockpiles.

Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the ministry’s Foreign Trade Department, said the spoiled-rice auction would be in addition to the 2.18 million tonnes of export-quality rice available for direct purchase by rice traders.

The ministry will announce details of the auction next Wednesday.

She said the government had foreseen strong market demand, so the next few months would be a good time to release rice, before the main harvest season.

Moreover, because of the expected delay of the main crop and lower rice output – down from about 31 million tonnes of paddy to 27 million tonnes of paddy this year – the government should be able to release rice from the stockpiles.

The government projects that Thailand should be able to export 9.5 million tonnes of rice this year. In the first half, it was able to ship 4.8 million tonnes. Duangporn said demand in the second half should be higher.

After the release of 2.18 million tonnes of export-quality rice and 400,000 tonnes of spoiled rice, a total of about 7.5 million tonnes will remain in the stockpiles.

She said the government was expected to release a total of 6 million tonnes of rice from the stockpiles this year. It should be able to meet the Rice Policy Management Committee’s target of clearing out all remaining rice stocks before mid-2017.

In addition, Duangporn said the ministry had accelerated the case against six state officials and politicians allegedly involved in a fake government-to-government contract. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged the relevant government agencies to seek compensation for the losses they caused.She said the Council of State should be able to submit the document within this week. After receiving the document, the department will proceed on the civil case and seek compensation from the six persons.