December 8, 2017 / 7:24 AM / a year ago

Thai government says to increase rubber purchases to lift prices

BANGKOK, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Thailand’s government plans to increase rubber purchases to 50,000-80,000 tonnes per year from the current 20,000-30,000 tonnes to boost prices, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.

Rubber farmers in Thailand, one of the world’s biggest exporters of natural rubber, threatened last month to protest if the military government does not help prop up falling prices.

The Ministry of Agriculture said it aims to boost prices above the cost of production, which it put at 51.28 baht ($1.57)/kg.

“I guarantee that we will accelerate this. In terms of the price, it will be higher than the cost of production. We will increase our purchases to help farmers,” Agriculture Minister Krisada Boonrat told reporters.

The ministry said the policy would be reviewed after three months. ($1 = 32.6400 baht) (Reporting by Pracha Hariraksapitak, Writing by Suphanida Thakral; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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