1m tonnes of state rice to go up for bid

1m tonnes of state rice to go up for bid

The government is calling a new bid this month to sell a combined 1 million tonnes of state rice stocks.

Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the authorities handling rice sales will announce the terms of reference tomorrow.

Interested bidders will be allowed to propose qualifications on Aug 25 and submit bidding prices on Aug 29.

Of the total stocks, about 700,000 tonnes will be white rice for human consumption, with the remaining 300,000 tonnes for industrial use such as animal feed and ethanol production.

The department said yesterday the government approved the sale of just 370,000 tonnes or 9.7% of the 3.81 million tonnes put up for sale last month in two big batches.

Authorities rejected some bids because they were too low.

Of the 370,000 tonnes approved for sale, 45,460 tonnes were from the auction, with the rest for direct sale to traders and exporters who had secured purchase orders from foreign countries.

The department in July called for bids on 1.63 million tonnes of rice, of which 730,000 tonnes were slated for general use. The remaining 900,000 tonnes were substandard rice designated for industrial use.

Interested bidders were required to buy the entire content of each warehouse storing rice and give clear details on where they intend to resell the stock.

Taking into account the 2.18 million tonnes the government planned to sell directly to domestic rice traders and exporters who secured purchase orders from foreign countries, the additional 1.63 million tonnes brings the total planned state rice sales to 3.81 million tonnes.

As of July 26, Thailand has shipped 5.5 million tonnes, up 8.5% year-on-year from the same period last year, with an export value of 86.6 billion baht, up 5.8%.

There are an estimated 9.1 million tonnes in state stocks, a sharp drop from 18.7 million tonnes accumulated through various rice-pledging schemes during 2011-14.

Mrs Duangporn said the government remains confident about disposing of all state rice stocks next year.

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