Thai rice plan stores up a mountain of problems
"Please don't worry. The Commerce Ministry is trying its best".
Those were the words of a government minister in Thailand as he announced that China had cancelled a contract to buy more than a million tonnes of rice.
The deal would have been the first stage of a much bigger sale to help reduce Thailand's rice mountain.
Under a government scheme, rice is bought from Thai farmers at a guaranteed price.
But as the mountain grows and the government finds itself having to sell the rice at a loss, critics say the scheme may eventually be abandoned.
Jonathan Head reports from Bangkok.
- From the section Business