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Markets

India, Vietnam rates gain on robust demand; Bangladesh eyes stocks

  • Bangladesh looks to purchase 50,000 tonnes of rice.
  • Thailand prices dip on quiet market, weaker baht.
  • Congestion at Indian ports has eased – exporter.
Published March 18, 2021

Rice export prices rose for the Indian and Vietnamese varieties this week boosted by a pick-up in demand, while Bangladesh issued a fresh tender to stock up supplies.

Top exporter India's 5% broken parboiled variety rates rose to $398-$403 per tonne, from last week's $395-$401, on firm demand and an appreciation in the rupee.

"Demand was always there for Indian rice, but some buyers were not making purchases due to congestion at ports. Since congestion is eased, they are also buying," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Vietnam's 5% broken rice also rose to $510-$515 per tonne on Thursday, from $500-$510 a week earlier.

"We are seeing an uptick in demand from foreign buyers (Philippines, Bangladesh and Indonesia), who are seeking to buy rice from the winter-spring crop that has the best quality of the year," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

At a meeting on Wednesday, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told Philippine ambassador Meynardo Los Banos Montealegre that Vietnam had pledged to ensure long-term and sustainable rice supplies to the Philippines.

The Philippines has been Vietnam's largest rice export market.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, issued another international tender to purchase 50,000 tonnes of rice, in addition to buying in state-to-state deals with India, Thailand and Vietnam, while private traders are allowed to import 1 million tonnes of rice.

Bangladesh, traditionally the world's third-biggest rice producer, has turned to imports after repeated floods damaged its crops and depleted stocks.

Thailand's benchmark 5% broken rice prices eased to $505-$513 per tonne on Thursday, from last week's $505-$515.

Bangkok-based traders said the market was quiet and the continued decline in prices was largely due to the exchange rate, as the Thai baht has weakened against the US dollar.

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