Thailand to sell govt rubber stockpile

The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry will sell 220,000 tonnes of stockpiled rubber as soon as possible, ahead of the new harvest season, to avoid further long-term losses, caretaker Agriculture Minister Yukol Limlaemthong said on Friday.

The cabinet had assigned the Rubber Estate Organisation to manage the stockpile to ensure there was no drain on the government budget.

A panel had been appointed to manage the stock and would decide how to release the rubbr onto the market, whether for domestic processing or for export, he said.

“As there is no rubber output in the market at this time, it is necessary for the government to release the stockpile as soon as possible, before the new harvest season starts later this month,” Mr Yukol said.

Although the rubber price was still in downward trend, the stockpile would deteriorate if kept too long and this would affect the market price. Meanwhile, it was costing around 20 million baht a month to store the  stockpile. 

Boonsong Nubthong, president of Federation of Thai Rubber Farmers, said the rubber price was still falling with third-grade smoked rubber sheet at 55-57 baht a kilogramme, the lowest in five years.

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