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  1. #1
    Mid
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    Asia Rice-Thai intervention plan boosts rice prices

    Asia Rice-Thai intervention plan boosts rice prices
    By Apornrath Phoonphongphiphat
    Wed Nov 19, 2008

    * Benchmark Thai rice price up, first time since August

    * Vietnam rice prices holding firm

    * Iraq and Malaysia buy Vietnamese rice

    BANGKOK, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Asian rice prices rose on Wednesday and were expected to stay firm over the next few weeks, supported by a Thai intervention scheme and fresh demand from Iraq and Malaysia for Vietnamese rice, exporters and traders said.

    Thailand's benchmark 100 percent B grade white rice RI-THWHB-P1 rose 9 percent from last week to $580 per tonne as a government buying programme kicked in, exporters said.

    "It has nothing to do with supply or demand," one exporter said. "The price was supported by the government buying scheme."

    Under the programme which began on Nov 1, the government has offered to buy paddy rice for 12,000 baht ($342.9) per tonne, higher than the market price of 9,000 baht, in a bid to shore up prices during the harvest period.

    The intervention price equates to around $630-$640 per tonne for milled rice, exporters said.

    The government has not revealed how much it has bought so far, but traders believe it to be around 400,000 tonnes.

    "More farmers are expected to sell rice to the government in late November when production is expected to peak," a Commerce Ministry official told Reuters.

    The government has said it planned to buy 8 million tonnes of paddy from farmers, part of the 23.8 million tonnes expected to be harvested in November and December. The buying programme is scheduled to end in February.

    "I'm sure that prices will fall again because the government cannot drain all the rice from the market," one trader said.

    VIETNAM PRICES FIRM

    In Vietnam, the world's number two rice exporter, the price of high-quality rice edged up this week thanks to several sales to Iraq and Malaysia, traders said.

    Five percent broken rice rose to $395-$400 a tonne, free-on-board, from $380 last week, while low-quality 25 percent broken grain stood at $310-$315 a tonne, down from $360-$380 a tonne last Wednesday.

    Vietnam has signed a contract to export 100,000 tonnes of rice to Malaysia with shipment now under way, traders said on Wednesday, a significant deal after weeks of slow trade due to thin demand and low prices. [nHAN420515]

    Iraq's Grain Board also finalised a purchase of 60,000 tonnes of Vietnamese rice for January shipment and was expected to issue a new tender shortly. [nN18457076]

    The Vietnam Food Association said rice exports between Jan. 1 and Nov. 14 reached 4.06 million tonnes, a drop of 6.7 percent from the same period last year, while revenues have surged nearly 87 percent to $2.39 billion.

    Vietnam has signed contracts to export 4.5 million tonnes and exporters have been seeking for more deals in order to ship up to 4.7 million tonnes for the whole of 2008, according to its trade minister Vu Huy Hoang.

    ($1=35.00 Baht) (Additional reporting by Ho Binh Minh in HANOI; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

    in.reuters.com

  2. #2
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    doesn't sound like good economics to me!

  3. #3
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    don't get me wrong I am all for the rural poor getting an extra baht per kilo,
    but reckon the middle man will pocket the increase!

  4. #4
    Mid
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    doesn't sound like good economics to me!
    the bullet points at the top of the article say it all

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