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Thai prices hit 6-month high, Vietnam rates elevated on supply woes

  • Thai traders expect interest from Japanese market.
  • Bangladesh finalising bilateral rice trade deal with India.
  • Shipments in India delayed by port congestion.
Published December 24, 2020
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Rice export prices in Thailand this week hit their highest in more than six months and Vietnamese rates held on to nine-year highs, although traders in Hanoi expected purchases from Cambodia to ease shortages.

Thailand's benchmark 5% broken rice prices rose to $516-$520 per tonne, their highest since June 11, from $500-$519 last week.

Traders said lower supply has supported prices in the domestic market. Demand remained quiet as the market speculated buying interest would emerge from Japan over the coming weeks.

Vietnam's 5% broken rice prices were unchanged from a week earlier at $500 per tonne, their highest since December 2011.

Traders said Vietnam's total rice exports this year will be 6.0-6.2 million tonnes, lower than a previous target of 6.5 million tonnes.

"Trade is very slow at the moment as domestic supplies are running low," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding that paddy purchases from Cambodia could ease the shortage.

"Demand is expected to pick up over the coming days and we expect to see a good year for rice exports in 2021, with strong demand from the Philippines."

Top exporter India's 5% broken parboiled variety extended gains to $381-$387 per tonne this week, from last week's $380-$385 on good demand from Bangladesh and African countries.

"Demand is good, but shipments are getting delayed due to congestion at ports," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Bangladesh is finalising a purchase of 150,000 tonnes of rice from India's NAFED, the New Delhi-based state agency told Reuters.

This would be the first such bilateral deal in three years after floods in Bangladesh sent local prices to a record high.

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