World Grain - October 2011 - (Page 48)

FEATURE Thai rice plan controversial by Susan Reidy T he Thailand government is reviving the Paddy Pledging Program it says to help farmers, but opponents believe it will instead hurt exports and benefit competitors such as Vietnam. The program began Oct. 7 and will continue through Feb. 29, 2012. With pledged prices 66% higher than current market prices, the program is more aggressive than the 2008-09 program when intervention prices were 20% above market prices, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Rice farmers may benefit from the program, said the Thai Rice Export Association, but the rice price guarantee distorts actual market mechanisms, which will increase costs for consumers, and benefit other rice exporting nations. Thailand, which is the world’s leading rice exporter, is expected to produce 20.3 million tonnes of rice this year. FAS estimates rice exports will drop to between 7 and 8 million tonnes in 2012, a decrease from the 10 million tonnes expected to be exported this year. It’s expected the government will accumulate large quantities of intervention stocks due to the program, FAS said. Anticipation of the program has led to widespread hoarding, according to press reports, with an estimated 3 million tonnes of rice stockpiled in recent weeks to gain from higher prices from the plan. 48 Some say government pledged prices will hurt consumers and exports, while helping competing countries SCHEME DETAILS The Thai National Rice Policy Committee (NRPC) finalized its Paddy Pledging Program for Cabinet approval on Sept. 13. It calls for intervention prices of $460 to $500 per tonne of white rice paddy; $666 per tonne for fragrant rice paddy; $600 per tonne for Provincial fragrant rice paddy; $533 per tonne for Pathumthani fragrant rice paddy; and $533 to $600 per tonne for glutinous rice paddy. No limit restrictions were imposed on the amount that can be pledged. The government said it expects the program will need a budget of $13.3 billion based on crop production of 25 million tonnes of paddy, FAS said. The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative’s will provide of a credit line of $3.3 billion for the first phase of the program, which is from October to mid-December. If the government is short on funds, it will be covered by October 2011 / World Grain /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - October 2011

World Grain - October 2011
Grain’s influence on global population trends
News review
Focus on Turkey
In it for the long haul
Deregulation shapes shipping market in Australia
Port developments
News Roundup
Thai rice plan controversial
A growing force in corn
Is biotech blooming in Europe?
A battle for China
Marketing maneuvers
Biofuels News Review
A new imaging method for millers
U.S. soy crushers face challenges
IAOM Eurasia
Flour trade prospects improve
Ridding your facility of rodents
Intersystems expanding Omaha facility
OCRIM school educates millers from around the world
Perten Instruments acquires TexVol Instruments
Food Protection Alliance names Schmitz as director
SternMaid to participate in Food Ingredients Europe
Insta-Pro International names Latin American sales manager
Alltech realigns leadership team
Advertiser Index

World Grain - October 2011