Reducing Thailand’s rice mountain

Reducing Thailand’s rice mountain –, September 25, 2013
… Figures vary as to how much rice is held in stock, with some private reports putting the figure at up to 17m tonnes, though state agencies say it is below 10m tonnes. This could shrink further when shipments for recent contracts begin. Since the scheme was introduced, the government has paid almost $19bn, buying unmilled rice direct from farmers at $473 per tonne, though the cost to the state climbs to some $700 per tonne when the expense of milling, transport and storage are taken into account.
Prior to the scheme’s being launched, Thailand sold 8m-10m tonnes to overseas buyers each year, though this fell to just under 7m tonnes in 2012 as high prices resulting from the pledging scheme meant the country lost out to rivals such as India and Vietnam. This could again be the case in 2013, with both competitors pricing their rice well below the rates quoted by Thailand. According to data from the Thai Rice Exporters Association, export volume was down 5.1% for the first seven months of the year, and by 5.6% in terms of earnings…

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