Next auction for state-held rice called

Next auction for state-held rice called

Decaying rice in storage at a warehouse in Nakhon Pathom. APICHART JINAKUL
Decaying rice in storage at a warehouse in Nakhon Pathom. APICHART JINAKUL

The government yesterday called the second auction for 1.82 million tonnes of state-held rice that is fit for human consumption.

The grains put up for the second auction are mixed grade in quality and suitable for human consumption, including Grade C, which is categorised as substandard quality for industrial use; Grade P, which has received ministry certification; and Grades A and B, meaning in slightly poor condition and in need of sorting for improvement.

The Foreign Trade Department yesterday disclosed the terms of reference for interested bidders and is scheduled to allow them to inspect the quality of the stocks at state warehouses until May 19.

Interested bidders will be allowed to sign up for vetting on May 22. Qualified applicants are scheduled to propose their bidding prices on May 24.

Results are likely due by the first week of June.

Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said she expects the new bids to draw active interest from potential buyers as the rice represents the government's last stocks fit for human consumption.

The rest is just fit for industrial use, she said, adding that the new supply from off-season rice is yet to enter the rice market.

The government is estimated to hold about 4.82 million tonnes of rice stocks, a sharp drop from the 18.7 million tonnes accumulated during 2011-14.

Since the May 2014 coup until April 19 this year, a combined 11.7 million tonnes of rice have been sold via auctions, fetching 112 billion baht.

From Jan 1 to May 9, Thailand exported 4.1 million tonnes, up 9% from the same period last year, worth US$1.74 billion (60.1 billion baht), up 6% in value.

The government aims to export over 9.5 million tonnes this year.

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