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Markets

India, Thai prices rise; high shipping rates weigh

  • India rates recover on improved demand
  • Vietnamese exporters ask clients to delay delivery: trader
  • Bangladesh reviews more proposals to import rice: official
Updated 26 Aug 2021

Indian rice export rates recovered from four-and-a-half-year lows this week, buoyed by improved overseas demand, although high shipping costs continued to dampen sales.

India's 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted in the $355 to $360 per tonne range this week, up from last week's $352-$356 level.

"At lower price level, demand is coming from African countries," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, adding that some buyers were delaying purchases as freight charges remain high.

Similarly, in Thailand, freight charges remained a challenge as there were fewer ships available.

However, prices of Thailand's 5% broken rice edged up slightly to $390-$403 per tonne from $387-$400 per tonne a week ago as the baht strengthened.

Rice export to China may cross 1m tons mark in two years: Badar

According to Bangkok-based traders, demand for Thai rice has stayed largely unchanged, while the baht has appreciated by nearly 2% since last Thursday.

Vietnam's 5% broken rice prices were unchanged at $385 per tonne, even as COVID-19 lockdowns forced many exporters to ask clients to delay their delivery.

"Trading remains slow on weak demand and logistical difficulties due to coronavirus restrictions," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Vietnam's rice exports this year are estimated at 6 million tonnes, down 4%, state media reports cited the agriculture ministry as saying on Thursday.

Bangladesh, on the other hand, has allowed private traders to import 400,000 tonnes of rice so far as the country tries to tame rising grain prices.

"More proposals to import rice are being reviewed," a senior food ministry official said.

Bangladesh, the world's third-biggest rice producer, has emerged as a big importer due to depleted stocks and record local prices after repeated flooding ravaged its crop last year.

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