BANGKOK, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Thailand’s cabinet has put off discussion of a price support scheme in the rubber sector for a week because of procedural delays, a senior Agriculture Ministry official said on Tuesday.
“The plan needed to be approved by the National Rubber Committee before being sent to the cabinet for endorsement,” Apichart Jongsakul, head of the Office of Agriculture Economy, told Reuters.
The National Rubber Committee is made up of ministers and government officials. The committee is still waiting to get a new chairman after a change of government in August, with government business disrupted by flooding since then.
Apichart is in charge of drafting the price-support plan. He said it should be ready for cabinet approval next week and could then be implemented immediately.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Pornsak Jarernprasert has said the government planned to intervene in the market to keep the price of unsmoked rubber sheet (USS3) above 95 baht ($3.07) per kg to support farmers.
It was at 88 baht on Tuesday.
The benchmark physical rubber (RSS3) price jumped to a record high of $6.40 per kg in February but has almost halved since then to $3.30 per kg on Tuesday.
Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, the top three rubber-producing countries met last week but decided there was no need for now for international measures to support the rubber market, although that does not rule out unilateral action. (Reporting by Apornrath Phoonphongphiphat; Editing by Alan Raybould)
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