Rice auction turns heads
The state auction for the final lot of edible-grade rice stocks totalling 43,700 tonnes has drawn active participation from interested bidders, with nine proposing the highest buying prices for the whole amount put up for auction.
Adul Chotinisakorn, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said a total of 35 bidders submitted bidding envelopes yesterday and nine of them proposed the highest bidding prices for the entire 43,700 tonnes at a combined 534.08 million baht.
Bidding prices ranged from 6,000 to 22,000 baht a tonne, depending on grain type.
The bidders proposed buying 5% white rice, the largest portion at 24,500 tonnes and 56.08% of the total, followed by 100% hom mali fragrant jasmine rice (7,300 tonnes).
The bidders who proposed the highest prices included Thanya Rice Thailand, Tanasan Rice, Rungruang Agriculture Produce, Sub Saengthong Mill and Ruamcharoen Rice Development.
Mr Adul said the panel handling the rice sales will call a meeting shortly to conclude the proposed rice purchase before submitting the figure to the national rice policy committee for final approval.
The Commerce Ministry earlier this month called an auction for the final lot of edible-grade rice stocks totalling 43,700 tonnes after postponing the bidding for almost a year.
Under the terms of reference (ToR), bidders have to buy rice on a wholesale basis. The grains put up for auction are the final lot of the government's rice stocks considered edible for human consumption.
The stocks include 24,000 tonnes of 5% white rice, 7,000 tonnes of 100% hom mali and 6,000 tonnes of provincial fragrant rice.
The rest comprises glutinous rice, broken white rice and broken hom mali rice.
According to the Commerce Ministry, between Jan 1 and May 16, Thailand shipped a total of 4.1 million tonnes of rice, up 2.2% from the same period last year, fetching the country US$2.09 billion (67.3 billion baht), up 22.8% year-on-year.
The Commerce Ministry recently raised its rice export target to 10 million tonnes at the end of this year from 9.5 million in earlier projections, due to higher demand and lower global supply.
Last year, Thailand exported a record 11.6 million tonnes of milled rice, up 17.4% year-on-year, fetching 174.5 billion baht, up 12.8%.
The top five importers of Thai rice were Benin, China, South Africa, Cameroon and the US.
From May 17, 2017 to April 25, 2018, the government disposed of 14.8 million tonnes of state rice stocks worth 135 billion baht.