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HANOI: Rice export prices eased this week in most hubs on lackluster demand with fresh supplies expected to be a further drag, but Vietnamese traders were concerned about low water levels in the Mekong. Top exporter India's 5% broken parboiled variety slipped to $376-$382 per tonne from last week's $379-$385.

"Local prices are softening due to the expected rise in production. Exports prices are not falling in the same proportion because of rising rupee," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Thailand's benchmark 5% broken rice prices fell to $472-$477 from $475-$495 last week, attributed largely due to the fluctuation in Thai Baht amid muted demand.

"We are starting to see new supply steadily entering the market this month, and this could gradually lead to a decline in prices over the next few weeks," a trader said. In Vietnam, rates for 5% broken rice were quoted at $460-$480 a tonne range versus $470-$475 last week, as export activity was muted with the absence of buyers from the Philippines.