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BANGKOK/MUMBAI/DHAKA AND BENGALURU: Indian rice export rates touched their highest level in three-and-a-half months this week on a stronger rupee and low supplies, while Vietnam rates slipped due to cheaper offers from other Asian hubs.

Top exporter India's 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $363 to $367 per tonne this week, up from $362 to $365 last week. Prices have risen for three straight weeks.

"New season supplies are still limited. Supplies could rise next month and help bring down local prices," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Trimming returns from overseas sales for traders in the world's biggest exporter of the staple, the rupee was trading at a one-week high.

In neighbouring Bangladesh, domestic rice prices stayed high despite record summer crops and hefty imports.

"A huge volume of rice is being imported mostly from India through land ports. But prices are still high. The government should remove import duty," a Dhaka-based trader said. Meanwhile, Vietnam's 5% broken rice fell to $425-$430 per tonne on Thursday from $430-$435 a week earlier.

"Prices edged lower due to competitive prices of rice offered by other producers, including Thailand and India," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh city said.

Preliminary shipping data showed 321,555 tonnes of rice are to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port in October, with most of the rice heading to the Philippines, Africa and Cuba.

"We are expecting exports to increase during the rest of the year on rising demand, especially from Asian importers," another trader based in the city said.

In Thailand, 5% broken rice prices were quoted at between $385 and $406 per tonne on Thursday, compared with $385 to $390 per tonne last week.

There have been more enquiries by buyers, but prices have shifted only due to exchange rates, a Bangkok-based trader said, adding that rice exporters remained concerned about high shipping costs.

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