Thailand to sell more rice to China, but below aim

Thailand signed an agreement to sell more rice to China during an official visit by outgoing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao but fell short of securing its sales target.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck said Wednesday the two governments agreed to expand rice trade at the state and private levels.

Thailand was pushing to supply at least 5 million tons of rice to China over the next three years, but the figure was dropped from the agreement before Wen's visit.

The government said Chinese companies on Tuesday agreed to import 260,000 tons of Thai rice worth nearly 6.24 billion baht ($203 million).

Thailand's rice subsidy scheme has meant the government is paying farmers higher prices than rice sells for on world markets, threatening the country's spot as the top rice exporter.