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BENGALURU, BANGKOK, BANGLADESH, HANOI/ MUMBAI: Thai rice export prices hit their highest over a month on Thursday following a rise in orders and a stronger baht, while traders in Vietnam said low supplies could offset the impact of fewer purchases from its top customer, the Philippines.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices rose to $390-$403 per tonne, their highest since Oct. 14, from $385-$395 last week. Higher prices have prompted many local exporters to buy and hoard stocks to inflate the rates, a Bangkok-based trader said.

The strengthening of the local currency against the US dollar was also an important factor in the price increase, according to traders. In Vietnam, 5% broken rice prices were unchanged at $425-$430 per tonne.

Traders and an agriculture official said on Wednesday that the Philippines, Vietnam’s largest rice export market, was taking steps to temporarily limit imports from Vietnam given a big domestic harvest. However, traders said they did not expect that to have a major impact on rice exports from Vietnam, where supplies are running low and the harvest is not expected until late February or early March.

Top exporter India’s rice export prices steadied after two consecutive weeks of decline. Prices of India’s 5% broken parboiled variety were unchanged at $354 to $360 per tonne, following an increase in supplies from the summer-sown crop.

“China, Bangladesh and Indonesia are consistently making purchases. New season supplies have started rising in India,” B.V. Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association, told Reuters on Monday.

In neighbouring Bangladesh, domestic rice prices stayed elevated despite hefty imports and good crops, traders said. Bangladesh has imported nearly 800,000 tonnes of rice since July, mostly from India through land ports, officials said.

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