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Rice auction attracts crowds of exporters

11 June 2024

Bidders interested in participating in the government’s 10-year rice auction exceeded expectations, totalling eight companies.

Wittayakorn Maneenetr, a Commerce Ministry spokesman, said the Public Warehouse Organization (PWO) reported on progress regarding the release of the final stocks of 15,000 tonnes of 100% Thai hom mali jasmine rice left over from the controversial rice pledging scheme from the Kittichai and Poolphol warehouses.

He said the PWO invited interested companies to submit documents to certify their qualifications on Monday, with eight exporters filing bid papers from various provinces including Kamphaeng Phet, Chai Nat, Nakhon Sawan, Suphan Buri and Ubon Ratchathani.

The list of qualified bidders is scheduled to be released on June 13, with qualified bidders allowed to submit bids on June 17 from 9am to noon. Winners are slated to be announced on June 21.

Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said the bidding is expected to generate revenue of about 270 million baht and reduce storage costs, which are as high as 380,000 baht per month.

Under the terms of reference, winning bidders will have 15 days to sign a contract with the PWO to complete the purchase. If the winner does not sign a contract, the next highest bidder will be given the right to sign a contract. If the offer is a lower bid than the winner's bid, the company must pay the price difference to the PWO.

According to Customs Department data, Thai rice exports during the first four months of the year amounted to 3.4 million tonnes with a value of 78.5 billion baht, up 29.1% and 60.7% year-on-year, respectively.

The Thai Rice Exporters Association anticipated rice export volumes of more than 900,000 tonnes in May 2024, as exporters have contracts to deliver large amounts of rice, particularly white rice, with government-to-government contracts to Indonesia and private sales to markets in Asia such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Japan. Sales are also slated to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Central America.

“Thailand’s key rice export markets include the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, France and the UK,” said Mr Phumtham.

“As Thai rice prices are higher than some competitors, we may lose some markets in the third quarter of this year, particularly parboiled rice in Africa.”

As of June 5, the price of Thai white rice 5% was quoted at US$647 per tonne, while the prices from Vietnam and Pakistan were in the range of $573-577 and $587-591 per tonne, respectively.

The price of Thai parboiled rice was $636 per tonne, while the prices for parboiled rice from India and Pakistan were in the range of $542-546 and $595-599 per tonne, respectively.

Source : bangkokpost