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July 2024

Decade-old rice auction result postponed for another week

The official announcement of the outcome of the auction of 15,000 tonnes of decade-old pledging scheme rice has been delayed for another week, as the commerce minister instructed Public Warehouse Organisation (PWO) to investigate the background of the highest bidder, V8 Intertrading Company.

V8 Intertrading offered 19.07 baht/kg for the 15,000 tonnes in an auction held last week by the PWO.

Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said that the PWO must find out whether V8 Intertrading is a government nominee.

The suggestion of government involvement in the company has been made by some media outlets, because of its questionable financial status, including being registered as recently as 2020 with only two million baht capital.

Moreover the company has only about one million baht in revolving funds each year and has accumulated debts of 13 million baht.

The minister said that his main concern is the disposal of this last batch rice from the scandal-plagued pledging scheme of the Yingluck government.

As questions have been raised about the credibility of the company, though, he has to clear up the suspicion.

Personally, he said he is satisfied with the 19.07 baht/kg bid price offered by V8 Intertrading, because some of the old rice has previously been sold at 5 baht/kg.

For the sake of transparency, however, Phumtham said he wants all doubt cleared up before the result of the auction is officially announced.

The minister disclosed reports that V8 Intertrading is affiliated with an export company in Kamphaeng Phet province, which used to export tapioca but has never engaged in rice exportation and has allegedly been blacklisted by the PWO.

If the deal with V8 Intertrading fails, he said the next highest bidder would be invited for talks with the PWO. QR Code

Published Date: June 25, 2024

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