Industrial grain first up for auction
The government is calling the first auction for 3.66 million tonnes of grain unfit for human consumption.
Interested bidders will be invited to hear the terms of reference on Friday and submit their bidding prices on March 23.
According to Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, the state rice stocks to be sold for industrial use cover 17 types of poor-quality grains including hom mali fragrant rice, white rice, glutinous rice and broken rice stored across 278 state warehouses in 39 provinces.
Mrs Duangporn said the state officials have pledged to come up with strict controls for poor-quality rice auctions to keep the grains separated from the normal rice market.
According to Mrs Duangporn, the government is also scheduled to announce the terms of reference for the auction of 1 million tonnes of decaying rice stored over five years for ethanol production by April.
In a related development, Mrs Duangporn said yesterday the national rice policy committee yesterday approved the Commerce Ministry's proposal to sell 1.35 million tonnes of rice from 127 state warehouses in the first general auction of state rice stocks in 2017 to 41 qualified buyers and fetch 13.20 billion baht in total.
The Foreign Trade Department announced on Jan 10 a call for the first general auction for the remaining 2.87 million tonnes fit for human consumption.
Interested bidders were allowed to inspect the rice stocks during Feb 6-10.
Qualified bidders were scheduled to submit their bids on Feb 16, with the names of the winners announced on the same day.
But the department on Feb 14 ordered the auction of 4,784 tonnes of hom mali rice at warehouses in Nakhon Sawan to be scrapped, as requested by the Public Warehouse Organisation.
According to Mrs Duangporn, the department will officially inform the winning bidders to sign rice deals with the state-run Public Warehouse Organisation and the Marketing Organisation for Farmers over the next 15 working days.
Since the May 2014 coup, 10.1 million tonnes of rice have been sold via 24 auctions, fetching 104 billion baht.
State-held rice stocks have fallen about 6.5 million tonnes from the 18.7 million tonnes accumulated during 2011-14.
This year, the government expects to be able to export not fewer than 9.5 million tonnes, slightly below last year's figures.