Pranee Siriphand, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department,  said that the auction of 201 tonnes of rice was held of which only 30,000 tonnes of 5-per-cent white rice was sold to two exporters, Asia Golden Rice and Chaiyaporn.

The government did nt disclosed the prices of the sold rice but said that it was satisfactory to both the government and the buyers. Full bidding of the 201 tonnes of rice could not be done as the bidder offer the prices lower at the market rate.

As small number of bidder participated in the bidding, department tomorrow would propose some adjustments to the subcommittee overseeing the release of rice from ministry stockpiles.

He said that the ministry is making some changes in the bidding methodology so that it can earn more of the money so that it can repay the finance ministry who is funding the rice pledging scheme.

The government is able to earn about Bt100 million from two rice auctions this year. The Commerce Ministry was able to pay Bt3.8 billion to the Finance Ministry this month. To date, it has returned about Bt150 billion.

This year the ministry should set a target to give back a total of Bt200 billion to Finance this year. This includes a payment fro Iran which has purchased 250,000 tonnes of thai rice under G-to-G deal. Moreover, Indonesia is expected to purchase not less than 300,000 tonnes of rice under a G2G contract soon.

After all these sale about 5 million tonnes of rice will left remain in the government’s stockpiles.Meanwhile the ministry is selling directly small packets of white rice to the consumers to lift the cost of living.

Deputy Commerce Minister Natthawut Saikuar said the rice should be sold at Bt85-Bt89 per 5-kilogram pack.

The ministry will closely monitor goods prices and will not allow increases without good reason.