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Bidding soon for stockpiled Pathum and sticky rice

Published on Jul 22, 2010     

According to Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai, as part of the ricerelease strategy, the ministry welcomed direct approaches from rice exporters. If the price offered is acceptable and not much lower than the market rate, the ministry will consider selling to them. Some orders have been placed.

However, the upcoming release could lead to a new round of corruption, as some exporters and millers say they have been asked for "tea money" from influential officials at the ministry.

"Rice millers and exporters have been asked to pay Bt200Bt300 per 100kilogram bag of rice as an exchange condition to win purchase orders from the ministry," said a rice trader, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Sompong Kittireanglarp, president of Ponglarp - one of the country's top five exporters, said he has heard of the rumour, but his company has not received such calls.

"Traders may have accepted paying something extra for purchasing sticky rice and Pathum rice, as the prices have climbed sharply to Bt2,700 and Bt2,200 per 100kilo bag, respectively," said Sompong.

 Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, urged the government to accelerate the sale of sticky rice and Pathum rice from its stockpiles during the end of the harvest season.

"The government should get a good offer price from traders for both kinds of rice grains. However, it is not a suitable period for releasing white rice, as there is sluggish demand in the market," he said.

Chookiat added that importers had turned to purchasing 5percent white rice from Vietnam instead of Thai rice as it much cheaper to do so.

Thai 5percent white rice is quoted at US$450$460 (Bt14,535Bt14,858) a tonne, while the Vietnamese

Source: The nation

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