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China, Thailand flesh out rice and rubber deals (19-03-2015)


China, Thailand flesh out rice and rubber deals  


BANGKOK(Reuters): China and Thailand last week ironed out some details of a deal signed earlier, where China will buy rice and rubber from the Southeast Asian country, Thailand`s Commerce Minister said.
The two nations signed the deals for China to buy two million tons of rice and 200,000 tons of rubber in December, when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Thailand. He had announced that China would double its imports of Thai agricultural produce in 2015.
China wants one million tons of new, 5% broken rice and one million tons of rice from stockpiles to be delivered within two years, Thai Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikalya told reporters, following discussions between government officials of the two countries in Bangkok.
Top rice exporter Thailand had announced that it plans to sell off around 17 million tons of rice it has in storage over two years.
Last year, Thailand and China signed another memorandum of understanding for China to import one million tons of Thai rice.
So far, only 300,000 tons of rice from that deal has been shipped to China. Thailand has urged China to quickly take the remaining 700,000 tons, the Thai Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
In past years, Thailand exported only around 500,000 tons of rice per year to China, the Commerce Ministry said, adding that the latest deal was a positive sign for future Thai agricultural exports to China.
Thailand received bids for around 780,000 tons of rice out of the one million tons offered in its latest tender of stockpiled rice. The results from that tender are expected to be finalised next week.
Thailand, also the world`s No. 1 rubber producer and exporter, has been hit hard by excess supply and weak demand in the rubber markets but state support has helped reduce its large rubber stocks.
China has agreed to buy 200,000 tons of rubber at a “friendly” price, the Thai Commerce Ministry statement said, without giving further details.
A second meeting to discuss the signed deals will take place on May 6 in Beijing, the commerce ministry said.




(source in Eximbank)
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