China Bins Million Tonne Rice Deal with Thailand

 | Wed 5 Feb 2014 11:11 ICT

CityNews – China has decided not to buy 1.2 million tonnes of rice from Thailand after anti-corruption investigations probed into the failing state-buying rice scheme already in place.

China said they were not confident that Thailand could avoid business-related problems after the National Anti-Corruption Commission revealed the extent of the government’s rice-scheme problems. After months of political unrest throughout the country, this cancellation is the latest economic setback for the Thai government, which had already stalled on paying Thai rice farmers the money they are owed for their rice.

While 16 million tonnes of rice languishes in government storehouses, rice farmers have taken to blocking major highways to demand their payment or at least the return of their rice so that it doesn’t pointlessly rot.

The government is scrambling to repair the costly damage (of at least US$4.46 billion) which sees them planning to open a tender next week in which 400,000 tonnes of rice will go on sale, hopefully bringing in at least 10 billion baht.

However, that is small change when considering the 130 billion baht the government owes to the bitter rice farmers.