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Thailand Sells Inexpensive Rice to the Philippines

Inquirer.net, Posted: May 27, 2008

MANILA, Phils.Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej pledged this week to sell rice to Manila at "negotiable" rates, reports Inquirer.net. Philippine Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said that Samak, during a meeting with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacaang [the countrys White House counterpart], gave assurances that if the Philippines needs rice, Thailand will be willing to supply the staple grain. "No volumes were discussed. The price was also negotiable" and any sales would be a "government-to-government" transaction or purchased from the Thai private sector, depending on the specifications of the Philippine government, Yap told reporters after the meeting. Yap says the Philippines will evaluate all current stocks and harvest conditions before it decides to procure rice from Thailand and other suppliers. Manila has to fill its production gap of some 2.7 million tons of the staple grain this year to increase its stocks amid soaring prices and tight supplies that have led to food riots in dozens of countries around the world. Thailand is one of the main sources of the countrys rice imports. The other is Vietnam.

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