Contrary to allegations by leading rubber farmers, the government has not instructed the Rubber Authority of Thailand to unload its old stockpile of third-grade rubber sheets onto the market, Government Spokesman Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Saturday.
Sansern said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has been told by the Agriculture Ministry that it has no policy directing the rubber authority to sell rubber sheets from the stock that had accumulated prior to 2014.
The spokesman was responding to allegations by leading rubber farmers that the rubber prices had dropped due to government plans to dump the ageing stockpile of third-grade rubber sheets on the market.
Sansern said the government realised that selling the old stock would further reduce the already depressed rubber prices.
“The prime minister would like the rubber farmers and society to have correct information, after it was rumoured that the third-grade rubber sheets would be sold from government stocks,” Sansern said.
He said General Prayut has concern for rubber farmers, who have seen prices drop to Bt43 to Bt45 per kilogram since the beginning of this year. However, he said, the government would not interfere with market prices by buying rubber sheets as it would require a lot of the state budget.
He quoted Prayut as saying that the government would instead provide career training for rubber farmers so that they would have alternative ways of earning their incomes.