BANGKOK, June 13 Thailand's cabinet on Tuesday
approved measures to help rubber farmers and stabilise falling
prices, the country's prime minister said.
These include an extension to a 10 billion baht ($294.90
million) loan programme for agricultural cooperatives for three
more years, and another 10 billion baht loan program for rubber
"The government is trying to solve the problem. Rubber
prices, like rice prices, have highs and lows," Prime Minister
Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters after the weekly cabinet
The government will also continue to pay a direct subsidy of
1,500 baht ($44.23) per rai (0.17 hectares) for up to 15 rai per
household to help to cover the costs of rubber production as
well as living expenses for rubber farmers.
About 11,460 families are expected to receive the subsidy in
the country, which is the world's biggest producer and exporter
of the commodity.
Thai benchmark unsmoked rubber sheet RUB-USS3-HDY was
quoted at 55.05 baht ($1.62) per kilogram on Tuesday, down more
than 40 percent from 93.52 baht ($2.76) in January.
It recovered from 53.35 baht ($1.57) last Monday, the lowest
of the year.
The government said it hoped the measures would push rubber
prices up to 70 baht per kilogram.
($1 = 33.9100 baht)
(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaicharaoen and Pracha Hariraksapitak;
Additional reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by
Patpicha Tanakasempipat. Editing by Jane Merriman)