Finance ministry of Thailand has auctioned 201,000 tonnes of rice on 20 august 2013 from its stocks which drew subdued interest.

BAAC executive vice president Supat Eauchai said the Finance Ministry had told the National Rice Policy Committee that the government needed to limit the annual loss from pledging to between Bt70 billion and Bt100 billion to maintain fiscal discipline.

 Thai government has spent about a total of Bt660 billion for its rice pledging project since 2011, while it promised to cap the spending at Bt500 billion, so the Commerce Ministry owes the bank Bt160 billion,” he said.

 The Commerce ministry has already returned Bt149 billion to the Finance Ministry.The farmer association in Thailand has urged the government to finalize the rice pledging price before the harvest which begins in the October.

 The President Prasith Boonchue,of the farmers association has said that the government has announced the new rice pledging prices to the farmers.

 The BAAC also plans to release 82,000 tonnes of its own rice worth Bt1.7 billion to continue the pledging project.

 The government has two choices – slash the pledging price or keep it at Bt15,000 a tonne, but allow farmers to participate in the project only once.

 “The government should not hesitate any longer, as the delay in announcing the pledging price will confuse farmers,” Prasith said.

 “The government should not be overly concerned about its popularity because some farmers also understand the Kingdom’s losses and the necessity to cut the pledging budget.”

 The Foreign Trade Department’s sale yesterday of 100,361 tonnes of 5-per-cent white rice and 100,000 tonnes of provincial fragrant rice was able to attract only seven bidders