First 2015 rice auction draws strong interest from traders

Economy January 30, 2015 01:00

By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
THE N

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THE Commerce Ministry's first rice auction of the year drew great interest yesterday, with 100 traders bidding on nearly a million tonnes of rice from the government's stockpiles. This auction attracted many traders because the ministry relaxed the reg



Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the ministry was highly confident of being able to release a large proportion of the 999,763 tonnes of rice that was up for bid since many traders were interested, reflecting high demand in the market. 
The ministry will soon finalise the amount to be released and the bids accepted, after which the Rice Policy and Management Committee will decide whether to sell this lot of rice at the offered prices, she said.
If this auction sells out, the government could generate Bt11.68 billion or more, depending on the bargaining process.
Of the 100 traders participating in yesterday’s auction, 95 met the qualifications after checking by the ministry. Four traders were disqualified after document checks, while one called Siam Indica was barred because the firm has been accused of involvement with an allegedly shady government-to-government rice deal under investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
Duangporn said the ministry would continue to release rice from the stockpiles as demand is high and supplies low in the world market. 
The next auction will be held around the middle of next month. 
In an effort to release about 10 million tonnes this year, Duangporn said the government would also sell rice under G2G contracts to many countries such as Iran and China, and to private enterprises.
Throughout the year, the ministry plans to auction off good-quality rice gradually, and in August, bids will be accepted for about 3 million to 4 million tonnes of rice that degraded while sitting in the government’s warehouses.