A perfect “contre-temps”.
Rice gained for a fifth day as the extent of the devastation in Myanmar from a cyclone became clearer with as many as 100,000 people dead, and Malaysia agreed to purchase the grain from Thailand, the world’s biggest exporter. (Bloomberg)
And meanwhile, the thai government starts its “cheap rice” campaign.
The Commerce Ministry will sell 300,000 5kg bags of 5-per-cent white rice at Bt120, undercutting the prevailing market price of Bt150 to Bt160.
Thongthong Chandrangsu, deputy permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry, who was named to head the Commerce Ministry’s body on the cheap-rice campaign, said the selling price would be adjusted later to be more in line with market prices.
Of the first 100,000 bags, 73,000 will be sold in Bangkok, while the remaining 27,000 will be offered in nine provinces.
“The government’s cost is Bt83.34 per bag, but we also need to take into account market prices and the competitiveness of private rice packers,” said Thongthong. (Nation)
First, now they are talking about 1 500 tons (before, no figures were given). Second, we have now a 20 % discount (minimum), not 15 % like stated before. Eventhough, the price will probably go up.
Third, Thailand consumes around 9,6 millions metric tons of rice per year… Therefore 1 500 tons… it’s peanuts.
Fourth, as stated in the article… what about the “competitiveness of private” rice packers (and retailers) ? ! Indeed, that’s a big question !
That’s the beauty of the vacuity of thai policies : short term only.
Act first, think after. Particularly for the consequences.
“Thailand will export 500 000 tons of rice to Malaysia following information that the neighboring country’s rice stock for consumption will only be sufficient for the coming five days. ” (PRD) Rice shortage in Malaysia…