Thailand’s caretaker Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan has pledged to continue distributing rice from 2013-2014 harvest to the market to avoid excessive stock, while the rice sales under the government-to-government (G2G) contracts have been suspended.

According to the minister, the National Rice Policy Committee meeting on December 11 has resolved to accelerate sales of its rice stock, mainly from 2013-2014 harvest, which continues pouring into the state stockpiles.

He said advance deals can still be made under the approved volume of 500,000 – one million tonnes, but the caretaker ministry would have to consult the Council of State on whether the rice can be released through open biddings.

He said G2G rice deals made with several countries have been suspended. He said that many contracts have been concluded such as with Iran of 250,000 tonnes of rice which is now being released. China agreed to buy two millions tonnes of rice from Thailand and another 600,000-800,000 tonnes will be offered for auction.-VNA