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624hr
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BANGKOK: Indian rice export prices slipped to their lowest in three months this week on a weak rupee and easing demand, while rates of the Thai variety edged higher supported by a stronger baht and higher freight costs.

Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $386-$390 per tonne- its lowest since January 21, from last week’s $388-$392.

“Weak rupee has been helping, but demand is coming down from buyers in Africa,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Indian rupee has fallen to its lowest level in nine months, increasing traders’ margin from overseas sales.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices rose to $467-$500 per tonne from $465-$482 two weeks prior, largely due to the recent strengthening of baht against the US dollar, traders said.

“Prices have been high for a while due to higher freight costs, causing buyers to slow purchases,” a Bangkok-based trader said.

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice remained unchanged from a week earlier at $485-$495 per tonne- its lowest since December last year.

“Trade is slow as importers are waiting for prices to fall further,” a trader based in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang said, adding tight supplies due to worsening COVID-19 situation in Cambodia and India could keep prices from falling further.

Traders forecast Vietnam’s rice shipments at 700,000-800,000 tonnes this month, up from 539,040 tonnes in March.

“Exporters are focusing on fulfilling contracts signed with customers from Cuba, Bangladesh and Syria,” another trader in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thailand to import up to 1 million tonnes of rice each year until 2026 earlier this week, food ministry officials said.

Domestic rice prices increased again this week amid a COVID-19-led lockdown, which has been extended to April 28.

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