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MUMBAI/DHAKA/ BANGKOK: Rice export prices in Thailand slipped to their lowest in 18 months this week due to a weaker baht, while an uptick in demand from Africa kept India rates near a two-month peak.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices eased to $380-$386 per tonne on Thursday - their lowest since March 2019- from $380-$393 last week.

The depreciation of the baht played a part in lowering prices, Bangkok-based traders said, adding new supply wasn’t expected until November. The baht has weakened by around 3% since end-August, which translates into lower rice export prices after the currency conversion.

“Prices have come down but could still be volatile, because September to November is the period before new supply arrives,” a trader said.

India’s 5% broken parboiled rice prices were unchanged at $360-$365 per tonne.

“Demand from African buyers has improved a bit, but is still subdued in Asia,” said an exporter based at Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.

India could account for as much as 45% of global rice exports in 2021, as a result of expanded port-handling capacity.

Neighbouring Bangladesh’s state grains buyer, meanwhile, issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 tonnes of rice to shore up low domestic reserves.

It also received the lowest offer of $428.98 from an Indian trader to buy a similar quantity in a tender closed on Thursday.

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice prices were at $415-$420 per tonne, versus $410-$420 last week.

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