A few weeks ago, the Department of Foreign Trade assured us Thailand would secure the sale of 800,000 tonnes of rice to the Philippines in an auction this month.
That dream has been dashed: Vietnam has underbid Thailand and won.
It looks like Vietnam will be Thailand’s biggest competitor in the world rice market. In this auction, Thailand seemed to fail to adjust its rice export prices to compete with Vietnam during the bidding, this despite the Thai Rice Exporters Association president warning that Vietnam may drop its rice price for 25 per cent white rice by as much as 14 per cent.
Now it is too late. Have some people at the Commerce Ministry been sleeping while on duty lately?