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MUMBAI/DHAKA/BANGKOK: Rice export prices continued their decline to multi-month lows across top Asian hubs this week as falling demand met with an increase in supplies, while a weaker baht added to woes of Thai traders. Vietnam's 5percent broken rice rates hit more than 16-month lows, falling sharply to $395-$400 per tonne on Thursday from a range of $465-$470 a week earlier.

"Demand is weak, while prices offered by other rice producing countries are very low," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh city said. On the other hand, domestic supplies are building up as the summer-autumn harvest is in full swing, the trader said.

Traders said they have cut down on purchases from farmers due to coronavirus movement restrictions in the world's third largest rice exporting nation after India and Thailand. In India, prices hit their lowest level in 16-months as stocks released from government warehouses boosted supplies.

The top exporter's 5 percent broken parboiled variety was quoted at $361-$366 per tonne this week, down from last week's $364-$368.

"Paddy planting is not picking up as expected due to lower rainfall in central and eastern India. We badly need rains to accelerated planting," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Thailand's 5percent broken rice prices dropped to $395-$410 per tonne on Thursday, the lowest level in nearly 20 months, from $405-$412 per tonne a week ago.

"Prices continue to decline, because the baht is weakening and there are no buyers," a trader said, adding that there were no supply issues due to ample rain.

Bangladesh's summer rice crop variety, known as Boro, hit a record 20.9 million tonnes this year, thanks to favourable weather, according to the agriculture ministry. Domestic rice prices rose nearly 10percent from last month despite huge imports and a record crop of Boro, which contributes more than half of the country's typical annual rice output of around 35 million tonnes.

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