||Asean Affairs 19 June 2013
Thai government set to cut rice intervention price
Thailand plans to cut prices and limit the amount of rice bought in a controversial support scheme for the grain as it attempts to retain vital political support from farmers and sustain a budget-draining programme.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom told reporters a proposal will be put to the Cabinet on Tuesday under which the price to be paid to farmers for their paddy could be cut to between 12,000 baht (S$490) and 13,500 baht per tonne in the 2013/14 crop from the current 15,000 baht.
The Cabinet will also discuss a proposal to limit the amount of rice the government will buy in the crop year from October to around 14 million to 15 million tonnes, Mr Boonsong told reporters late on Monday.
The move could help lift rice exports from the world's third-largest exporter of the grain by regaining some price competitiveness. The current support price is estimated by exporters to be as much as 50 percent above the market level.REUTERS