Thailand. Rice exporters upset by bid conditions


Rice exporters complain the government's conditions for bids for 200,000 tonnes of paddy to be processed as parboiled rice for export are unclear and impractical.

Vichai  Sriparsert, honorary president of Thai Rice Exporters Association, said on Wednesday  bidders have problems setting on a tender quote because the terms of the reference do not state clearly where the paddy is located and what type of paddy will be put up for auction.

The unmilled rice in the auction should only be paddy from the second crop harvest of 2013, he said.

Millers were also expecting problems as most had yet  to receive paddy from the 2013 second harvest and were unaware of the specifications for parboiled rice to be delivered to exporters. The terms of reference do not  state whether it should be only 100% parboiled rice.

He said the bids were also being made in haste, making  it  difficult for exporters to inspect the mountainous stacks of paddy at the warehouses in just 20 days.

The government announced last week it would call for tenders on July 30 for 200,000 tonnes of paddy to be processed as parboiled rice for export.

The bidding process is part of the 550,000 tonnes of stockpiled rice to be auctioned off by the government, as  announced on July 15.

Thailand expects to ship about 1.3 million tonnes of parboiled rice by the end of this year, a fall from from 2 million tonnes in 2012 and 3 million tonnes in 2011. India has snatched the previous market share of Thai parboiled rice.

The Thai produce was unable to compete after the government set rice prices 40% higher than the global market price under its rice pledging programme announced during its election campaign in 2011 and subsequently implemented. The government is now struggling to sell off its huge accumulated stockpile of rice purchased at above market value and that it has been unable to sell.