Thailand has extended a deadline to offload the remaining 2 million tonnes of rice for animal consumption or industrial use in state stockpiles from the end of this year to an unspecified date next year, the commerce ministry said on Friday (17/11).
The country’s military government inherited 18.7 million tonnes of rice built up under the previous government’s rice subsidy scheme, and has since held several auctions since taking power in May 2014.
Nanthawan Sakuntanak, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, told reporters the deadline was extended in order to avoid an oversupply of rice ahead of an upcoming harvest season.
“There is less than 2 million tonnes of rice in the stockpiles,” Nanthawan said. She did not say exactly when in 2018 the deadline would be for eliminating the stockpiles.
Thailand, the world’s second-biggest rice exporter, exported 9.22 million tonnes of rice in the first 10 months of the year, the highest volume among top exporters, according to the commerce ministry.
The country said in August it expected to export 11 million tonnes of rice this year, exceeding its initial forecast of 10 million tonnes. The country exported 9.63 million tonnes of rice in 2016.
The ministry said it has government-to-government deals to sell 100,000 tonnes of white rice to China and 150,000 tonnes of parboiled rice to Bangladesh next year.