September 2, 2019 / 9:39 AM / 20 days ago

Thailand to propose $850 million in subsidies for rubber farmers

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand will propose up to 26 billion baht ($849.7 million) in subsidies for rubber farmers in a bid to boost their income, a minister said on Monday.

The plan, which may be considered by the cabinet next week, will benefit more than 1.4 million farmers and nearly 300,000 rubber tappers between October and September next year.

The government will set floor prices for some rubber products, including unsmoked sheets, latex and cup lumps, and farmers will be paid the price difference, agriculture minister Chalermchai Sri-on said.

The new guaranteed prices were about 50% above current market prices, according to a Reuters calculation.

Domestic rubber prices in the world’s largest producer of the commodity have suffered in recent months due to a slowing global demand, despite export curbs aimed at buoying prices that are set to end in mid-September.

Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng; Writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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