Thai govt to lose US$6 billion on its rice scheme

Thailand Set to Sell Off Huge Stockpile of Rice – NYT, March 28, 2013
…Government stockpiles are estimated at a record 17 million metric tons of milled rice, nearly twice what Thailand used to export each year before the program was implemented two years ago.
…Traders and industry officials say the government will suffer big losses if it sells now with plentiful supplies available from India and Vietnam and with the baht hitting a 16-year high this month, making Thai rice more expensive in dollar terms.
…Although officials publicly deny that the politically sensitive effort is in a crisis, the government is looking at measures to stem ballooning losses that so far are estimated at $6 billion.
…The Thai government is paying 15,000 baht, or $513, per metric ton, so export prices are as much as a third higher than those for equivalent grades from India or Vietnam. That explains why, for the first time in three decades, Thailand was not the world’s biggest rice exporter in 2012…

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