The Thailand government plans to sell 8 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) of white rice inventory within this year, Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, permanent secretary at the Commerce Ministry, said on Wednesday after a meeting of the National Rice Policy Committee. The inventory is the part of rice stocks of 18 MMT accumulated from the rice subsidy scheme implemented by previous Thai governments.
The 8 MMT of rice to be sold, comprise three grades of rice namely 3 million tonnes food grade; 3.66 million tonnes industrial-use grade; and a million ton of rotten rice, which can be used only for alcohol production. Last month, the Commerce Ministry put up 1.3 million tonnes of food-grade rice for auction and another 1.5 million tonnes will be put up for auction in May. Nineteen traders are participating in the auction for industrial-use grade rice, she said whereas fifteen bidders have proposed to a combined 2.07 million tonnes of inedible state rice stocks, comprising 56 percent of the total 3.66 million tonnes of the grain unfit for human consumption put up for auction.