6 June 2024

Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said today that he is confident that the decade-old pledging scheme rice will be auctioned off to buyers in African countries in June, as he insisted that there is no ulterior political motive, to “whitewash” any individuals, behind the rice sale.

He said a committee, comprising representatives from the Public Warehouse Organisation, the Internal Trade and Foreign Trade departments, will be in charge of the auction, adding that the committee is yet to decide whether to auction off all the rice, about 15,000 tonnes, in a single lot.

He expects an auction to be held this month and a deal to be finalised in June.

He also said that the bidders are entitled to check the quality of the rice, adding that he believes that they should have an idea about the price of old rice and how they will use it.

The rice is being stored in two warehouses in Surin province, 11,656 tonnes (112,711 sacks) in the Kittichai warehouse and 3,356 tonnes (32,879 sacks) in the Poonphol Trading warehouse.

Phumtham said he is glad that the drama over this rice is coming to an end and he expects the auction will raise between 200 and 300 million baht for the state.