The government is likely to approve the sale of just 1 million tonnes of rice in the first general auction of state rice stocks in 2017 after the bidding prices offered on another 1-million-tonne lot were deemed too low.
The Foreign Trade Department announced on Feb 16 that the first general auction of state rice stocks in 2017 had drawn active interest, with 48 qualified bidders offering the highest combined-price of 18.6 billion baht for 2.03 million tonnes of rice.
Hom mali fragrant rice attracted the most interest, accounting for 26.1% of the total or 745,236 tonnes, followed by white rice 5% at 479,761 tonnes or 16.8%.
The panel handling state rice stocks chaired by Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, permanent secretary for commerce, looked at the results of the auction yesterday and found that the bidding prices for some hom mali rice stocks were below those for white rice 5% and broken rice.
Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the panel yesterday had thus agreed to sell only 1 million tonnes out of the 2.03-million-tonne total and will later submit that proposal to the national rice policy committee for final approval.
She said the department would call the auction for an unapproved amount as soon as possible.
Mrs Duangporn said the authorities are also scheduled to soon call an auction for around one million tonnes of poor-quality grain unfit for human consumption.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said in January that the government wanted to dispose of its existing rice stocks this year.
Most of the existing 8 million tonnes are white rice, 5 million tonnes of which is poor-quality.
The remaining 2.87 million tonnes was mixed grade in quality and suitable for human consumption.