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Asia Rice: Strong rupee lifts India prices to 3-month peak; Thai rates slip

  • High shipping rates challenge Thai exporters - trader
  • Vietnam rates unchanged at $430-$435 per tonne
  • Indian rupee at two-week high
Published October 21, 2021

Rice export prices in India rose to their highest level in nearly three months this week as the rupee appreciated amid a shortfall in supply, while higher shipping costs and a weaker baht dragged Thai rates lower.

Top exporter India's 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $362 to $365 per tonne this week, their highest since late July, up from last week's $360 to $363 per tonne.

"Prices have moved up a bit because of the rising rupee. Demand is there, but supply is limited," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

The rupee was trading near its highest level in two weeks, trimming returns from overseas sales for traders in the world's biggest exporter of the staple.

Thailand's 5% broken rice prices narrowed to $385 to $390 per tonne on Thursday, from $385-$420 per tonne last week, with traders attributing the dip to fluctuation in the currency exchange amid moderate demand.

Asia rice: Vietnam rates extend gains

The lingering concerns over the high cost of shipping is a major challenge for Thai rice exporters, a rice trader said.

"Demand has been muted because it is very difficult to ship rice due to high cost and because of this logistic problem buyers are turning to our competitors whose prices are more attractive," the same trader said.

Another trader said more supplies of rice are expected at the beginning of November, which could pressure prices further.

Meanwhile, Vietnam's 5% broken rice stayed unchanged from a week earlier at $430-$435 per tonne.

"Export activities are picking up pace after most of the coronavirus movement restrictions are lifted," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

In Bangladesh, farmers have expanded rain-fed rice cultivation this year, encouraged by favourable weather and better prices for the staple in the domestic markets.

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