Thailand. Main rice harvest projected at 20 million tonnes


Authorities are speeding up measures to keep rice prices steady after forecasting 83% of all paddy in the main crop will be harvested between October and December this year.

The Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative Ministry has projected a total of 24 million tonnes of paddy from the 2016/17 main crop, which runs from around April this year to February next year.

Of the total, 20 million tonnes will be harvested in the last three months of this year.

Anan Suwananrat, director-general of Rice Department, said the government has arranged for the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives to provide a credit line for rice millers to enable them them to stockpile up to two million tonnes of paddy, to help prop up the price during the harvest period.

The bank must carefully implement the scheme to prevent a recurrence of a problem that arose when the same measures were applied last year.

Mr Anan said rice millers last year were able to stockpile only 500,000 tonnes of paddy when their credit line reached the maximum level.

Thai Rice Millers Association president Manas Kitprasert said the harvest would be at its peak in November so the government should have some export orders ready to help support the rice price.

He said the government’s success in selling 100,000 tonnes of rice over two months – 40,000 tonnes in September and 60,000 tonnes in October – had helped push up the price of white rice in the market from 11,500 baht to 12,000 baht a tonne.

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