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BENGALURU: Rice export prices in top exporter India this week touched their highest levels since last June, supported by tight supplies and a stronger rupee, while an uptick in demand buoyed rates in nearby Thailand to their highest since mid-July last year.

India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $367-$375 per tonne, a peak since the week of June 24 last year, up from last week’s $359-$363. “Mills are mainly focusing on milling white rice. Parboiled supplies are very limited, and that’s why prices are moving higher,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Prices are also firming because of an appreciation in the rupee, he said, which trims traders’ margins from overseas sales. Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices rose to their highest since mid-July 2021 at $404-$405 per tonne from $390-$402 last week.

Bangkok-based traders said an uptick in demand among exporters who had to fulfil orders made before the New Year’s holidays raised prices slightly. Thailand exported 5.39 million tonnes of rice between January and November 2021, up 2.6% from the same period a year earlier, according to the country’s commerce ministry. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $395-$405 per tonne, widening from a range of $395-$400 a week ago.

“Sales are slow, and local traders have scaled down their purchases from farmers,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said. Government customs data released on Thursday showed Vietnam’s rice exports in 2021 fell 0.2% to 6.24 million tonnes.

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