Thais to Sell 100,000 Tons of Rice to China


Thailand will sell 100,000 tons of rice to China within the next month, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday, while it also approved new measures to stabilize rice prices.
Thailand, the world’s second-biggest rice exporter, will sell 100,000 tons of five percent broken white rice to China following a government-to-government deal which the two agreed last year.
The amount, to be sold at $394 to $399 per ton, is the first lot of China’s planned purchase of one million tons of Thai rice, said Minister of Commerce Apiradee Tantraporn.
“Big orders from other countries will support new rice that’s coming out into the market,” she said.
Thailand and Iran agreed to resume bilateral trade on Monday, with Thailand aiming to export 700,000 tons of rice to Iran per year.
Thailand’s rice industry welcomed the agreement.
“Iran is an old market we have always wanted to return to,” Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters’ Association, told Reuters.
Thailand will also supply 100,000 tons of rice to the Philippines in a deal struck in September.
The ministry will hold talks with China to accelerate sales of the remaining 900,000 tons, Ms. Apiradee said.
Shipping for the first lot will start sometime this month or next, she added.
Thailand aims to export 9.5 million tons of rice in 2016 and has already exported 6.2 million tons up to August. The Commerce Ministry said last month Thailand should harvest 23.55 million tons of rice between October and December this year.
The government also approved measures at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday aimed at taking rice off the market to stabilize Thai rice prices at a time of high supply.
The measures include a revised rice storage scheme worth 1.31 billion baht ($37.56 million), which offers interest rate cuts on loans from a state-run agriculture bank to attract more rice millers to buy rice for storage.
Millers who store rice for 60 to 180 days will get a three percent interest rate cut per year, while those who store it for 90 to 180 days will get a four percent cut.
Another measure involves offering loans, from 300,000 baht ($8,600) to 300 million baht ($8.60 million), to farmers, farmer groups, local enterprises and agricultural cooperatives to withhold their harvest and postpone selling it into the market.
The government said it expected both programs to take 10 million tons of rice off the market.


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