Thailand to sell stockpiled rice to Africa, Middle East
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The Thai Ministry of Commerce is proposing to the Cabinet the selling of stockpiled rice to nations in Africa and the Middle East.

According to Commerce Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya, the ministry will propose a set of rice-exporting guidelines to the meeting of the national rice policy committee on December 19. The proposed measures take into account the quality of the remaining rice in stock and seek to export them to a market suitable to their quality.

Recent inspections show that a large amount of the rice in stock is in a deteriorating condition, the minister said but affirmed that the Government will still use an auction in selling the grain as it is still a fair and transparent way for businesses.

As for the two million tonnes of rice that will be sold to China, General Chatchai stated a sale agreement is expected to be signed during the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who will attend the GMS Summit in Thailand on December 19-20.

Meanwhile, for new markets, he added that his ministry is planning an aggressive public relations campaign to penetrate markets in the Middle East and Africa . He clarified that Middle East countries demand a higher quality grain while a more humble quality rice is wanted in the African markets.

Thailand exported more than 8.7 million tonnes of rice in the first 10 months of this year, a 62 percent jump year-on-year, earning about 4.3 million USD. Thailand’s major rice trading partners are the Benin Republic, Nigeria, China, Cote d'Ivoire, South Africa, and Cameroon.-VNA

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