The Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA) expects the country to export 7.5 million tonnes of rice in 2014, up about 14 percent from the 6.6 million tonnes shipped in 2013, as Bangkok is struggling to fund a rice subsidy scheme.

The Thai Government needs money to pay farmers for rice it guaranteed to buy at above market rates. Therefore, the Government said it would open a tender to sell 400,000 tonnes of rice from state stocks next week.

TREA President Chareon Laothammatas expressed his hope that the Government will release a substantial amount of rice from state warehouses so they would have more supply for export this year. But prices are likely to fall, he added.

Rising rice supplies and uncertainty over the future of the subsidy scheme, which is scheduled to expire on February 28, would put pressure on prices, said the association.

That means prices will definitely be on a downward trend as everybody knows that supply is rising everywhere, Chareon said.-VNA