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MUMBAI/HANOI/ BANGKOK: Rice export prices in India climbed to their highest level in nearly two months this week on the back of an appreciating rupee, but demand was tepid as buyers chose cheaper varieties elsewhere.

India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $360 to $365 per tonne this week - the highest since late-July on average - up from last week’s $358-$363 range.

The rupee has gained about 0.7% since the beginning of the month, trimming returns for exporters and thereby prompting them to raise prices in dollar terms.

“Some buyers are moving to Myanmar and Pakistan, which are also offering rice at competitive prices,” said an exporter based in Kakinada in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Yet, India could account for as much as 45% of global rice exports in 2021, as expanded port-handling capacity allows the world’s second largest rice grower after China to ship record volumes to buyers across Africa and Asia.

Prices for Vietnam’s 5% broken rice variety rose to $410-$420 per tonne from $400 per tonne a week earlier, as demand picked up.

Supplies from Vietnam, however, were still facing hurdles due to container shortages and pandemic-led movement restrictions, a trader based in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang said.

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