- The Bangkok Post (July 23) notes that due to droughts rice production will drop in Thailand. Farmers are also planting less as subsidies have also dried up.
- The Bangkok Post reports on a supposed upswing in Thai rice fortunes (Aug. 5). China will get their rice and auctions will start once again.
- The upside of the rainy season? Cambodia's output to rise, so says the Phnom Penh Post (Aug. 5).
- Cross border (Vietnam to China) trade no more? Vietnamnet (8 Aug):'According to Khanh [rice trader in Hanoi], China has prevented the rice imports across the border in order to tighten control over tax payments made by Chinese rice importers'.As unofficial statistics put this figure at 2 million tonnes, this may well drive prices and traders crazy at least until market finds different ways to accommodate the trade. Prices in Vietnam to drop, in China to rise ...
'In the case of Thailand, it is becoming more evident that its ricepledging scheme will not come back. Without it, it is a no-brainer that Thai farmers will plant less rice in the wet season. But, that should not be a problem for the global market because Thailand has plenty of stocks to make up for the shortfall'.
'Thon Virak, chairman and director-general of Green Trade, a Cambodian state-owned milled-rice exporter, said the Kingdom is ready to make a bid this time, after missing out on a similar tender by the Philippine government last year due to a shortage of able exporters.“This is the second time the Philippines has invited Cambodia to the bidding,” Virak said.“We missed previous bidding because we did not have a united exporter group yet to transport the huge load. But now we have one, we are ready,” he said, referring to the recently founded Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), which united the country’s rice exporter community in one organisation.“I do not work alone. We are working together in the group now.”Virak, however, admitted that Cambodia’s high transportation and shipping costs could hamper the country’s chances of landing the deal'.
'The Chinese government-run China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) will today formally agree to import 100,000 tonnes of rice from Cambodia, local officials say....But trust between the two nations might not be the only reason for today’s deal, according to David Van, president of local rice producing firm, Boost Riche Cambodia.“The South China Sea dispute lately may have also played indirectly a part in China wanting to diversify its rice import base as imports from Vietnam hit a substantial figure. China imported over 66 per cent of its total rice imports from Vietnam in 2013, while only 1 per cent came from Cambodia,” Van said'.
'The dust-to-dust discovery was only the latest chapter in rice-pledging scheme's disastrous history. The programme, cooked up by the Pheu Thai Party and former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, paid farmers 50% above market rates for rice in an attempt to bolster the party's popularity in rural areas and distort the international rice market.
'However, the upshot of the inspection in the East's 14 provinces was that only a few flaws were found. There were 429.8 tonnes of rice missing or 0.018 per cent of the 2.32 million tonne total on the lists, the Second Army Area spokesman said yesterday'.
'Finance permanent secretary Rangsan Sriworasart, chairman of a sub-committee on closing the rice pledging scheme account, said inspectors had so far found about 100,000 tonnes of inedible rice which could be processed into something else'.
'... a source from a committee charged with checking the stocks.'
Clearly some work is still required.'The working committee did not expect the bids to be lower than floor prices, so it may need to ask for a mandate from the chairman of the Rice Policy Committee to adjust some floor prices in order to release rice from the government's stocks.If the prices are not satisfactory, the government will not be in a hurry to sell rice from its inventory, as pressure to do so has lessened because of a low supply in the market'.
'Under a draft bill dealing with the farmers and rice development fund, farmer members will pay about three per cent of their monthly income to the fund and the state will also contribute an unspecified amount. When the farmers retire at the age of 60 or 65, they will have a monthly pension of about Bt4,000'.
'Unshelled cashew nut exports totalled close to $2.5 million in the first six months of the year, with 2,800 tonnes exported, a rise of 200 per cent over the same period last year, a report from the Ministry of Commerce shows.But despite the increases, officials and industry leaders told the Post that Cambodia produces close to six times the recorded export figures....When questioned as to where the unrecorded nuts were going, Ken Ratha, spokesman at the Ministry of Commerce, said cashew nuts may be slipping through smaller corridors at the borders where figures are not recorded.“Farmers export cashew nuts by themselves, or traders are avoiding tax,” he said'.
'In Dar commune in Tbong Khmum province’s Memot district, one of the richest pepper-growing areas of the country, the number of households farming pepper has increased from 1,730 last year to 2,300 this year, while cultivated farmland has doubled from 600 hectares to 1,200, according to Yin Sopha, executive director of the Dar-Memot Pepper Agriculture Development Cooperative'.
'Cassava farmers are calling on the government to standardise prices and help stabilise demand as the market for the root crop continues to prove risky for growers'.
'The price increase has been reluctantly welcomed by farmers, who are tired of the crop’s volatile price and fluctuating market demand.“The price is up today and down tomorrow. Farmers are taking big risks of losing money if crops cannot be sold at a good price,” Pailin province cassava trader Song Sarum said.'