Illustrative inage (Source: VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai government on September 14 decided to temporarily stop holding state rice auctions to avoid oversupplying the market ahead of the annual crop harvest in November.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha announced the decision following a meeting of the National Rice Policy Committee the same day.

He is yet to say when auctions will resume.

Thailand is the world's second biggest rice exporter after India. The country currently has stocks of about 8.4 million tonnes left over from a rice-buying scheme under the previous government.

The current military government in Thailand has been trying to sell off stockpiles from the scheme through several state auctions since it took power in 2014.

Drought in rice producing countries, including Thailand, has cut supply to global markets and given the Thai government an opportunity to accelerate sales this year.

According to the Thai Ministry of Commerce, the country expects to harvest 23.55 million tonnes of rice in the fourth quarter, and targets selling 9.5 million tonnes this year.-VNA