ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
On September 9, 2013, in the weekly TV show 'Yingluck Government Meets the People', Finance minister Kittirat Na-Ranong, chairman of Thailand's National Rubber Policy Committee, announced a doubling of the subsidy to rubber planters from 1,260 baht (US$39) to 2,520 baht (US$78) per rai, a measure of surface that is slightly more than one third of an acre.
Thai rubber accounts for about 30% of the world's supply. The increase in production subsidies followed protests by rubber farmers who wished to see the domestic rubber price raised in order to cover production costs. The government refused this, fearing that such a price would harm rubber exports, but instead doubled its subsidies. The measure will be in force for seven months, from September 2013 through March 2014.
Given the size of the market and the large increase, the GTA assesses that this procedure of subsidising Thai rubber farmers effectively gives Thai rubber farmers an advantage over their foreign competitors and almost certainly affects conditions of competition in foreign markets and foreign commercial interests.
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