China Signs Major New Longan Purchase Agreement
China's Guangxi Sun Rising Agriculture Development plans to buy 174,000 tonnes of longans worth 10.8 billion baht from a local fruit producer, the biggest deal ever for the fruit.
In an agreement signed yesterday at Talaad Thai, Thailand's largest fresh fruit and vegetable wholesale market, Thai Tone International Trade Co agreed to supply 128,000 tonnes of dried longan and 46,000 tonnes of fresh fruit harvested in the next season, which will start sometime next June or July.
Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the Commerce Ministry's International Trade Promotion Department, called the agreement part of a ministry initiative to push for the opening of major new markets and distribution channels for Thai longans.
The move will help Thai farmers to sell large amounts of fruit and shore up prices in anticipation of the next harvest season.
In the absence of future markets, the longan price is normally low, particularly in the high season, when it drops below 10 baht a kilogramme, forcing the government to intervene in the market each year.
Mrs Nuntawan said 10,000 containers would be exported — 8,000 of dried longan and 2,000 of fresh longans — to the Chinese trader, a major fruit import-export company based in Guangxi's Fangchenggang city.
Pradit Phataraprasit, chairman of Thai Agro Exchange Co, the owner of Talaad Thai wholesale market in Pathum Thani province, said Talaad Thai was proud to play a role in opening up new markets for local longan exporters, raising the price of longans and boosting farmers' incomes.
The signing was also witnessed by Fangchenggang Deputy Mayor Zhu Sheng Yong.
Thai Tone already exports 3,000 containers of fresh and dried longan to China annually.
It has its headquarters in Chiang Mai and a longan drying factory in Lamphun.
In a separate development, the cabinet yesterday acknowledged that a rubber audit found up to 103,243 tonnes of rubber out of a total 193,272.63 tonnes in state stocks accrued from the previous government were of low quality.
Deputy government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the cabinet yesterday approved a new plan to sell the rubber stocks in both domestic and foreign markets.
The previous plan required the government to sell them only domestically.
The cabinet also approved establishment of a panel to handle the sale and shore up rubber prices.
You can view the original article, as it appeared on 13 Nov 2014, on the Bangkok Post here.