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Rice auction attracts 73 bidders

The government's first rice auction of the new year held at the Foreign Trade Department on Tuesday has attracted 73 bidders who are mostly rice millers and rice exporters.

FTD deputy director-general Adul Chotenisakorn said Wednesday that altogether 2.87 million tonnes of 17 rice varieties, including 100% Hom Mali, Grade 2 Hom Changvad, 5% white rice and 5% Pathum Thani rice would be put on public auction.

He said, however, that FTD officials would have to check the qualifications of the 73 bidders to make sure that they are qualified and will be allowed to submit their sealed bids on February 16.

The government is expected to release a substantial amount of rice from its stockpiles should this auction go through, said Mr Adul, adding that this auction will not impact on domestic rice price as demand of rice remains high.

Regarding the unsold rice stock from the previous government's rice pledging scheme estimated at between 5.2-5.3 million tonnes, the FTD is expected to unload them to the industrial sector in May before the harvest of the second rice crop.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)