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BENGALURU/ BANGKOK/MUMBAI/DHAKA: Rice export prices in India fell for a second straight week as buyers opted for cheaper offers from elsewhere, while activity in other Asian hubs remained relatively quiet due to the Lunar New Year holidays.

Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $370 to $376 per tonne this week, down from last week’s range of $372 to $379.

“Myanmar and Pakistan have been offering rice at a competitive price. Some buyers are moving to these destinations,” said Himanshu Agarwal, executive director at leading exporter Satyam Balajee.

Freight train availability is still limited, and that has been delaying shipments for deals signed last month, he said.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices were little changed at $408-$417 per tonne on Thursday, compared to $408-$415 last week.

One Bangkok-based trader said the market was still muted from the Lunar New Year holidays and most businesses have not resumed.

Some orders made before the new year were fulfilled last week and some new deals have been made with buyers from Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia, another trader said.

Thailand aims to export 7 million tonnes of rice this year, 14.6% more than 2021. Markets in Vietnam were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays this week.

In Bangladesh, domestic rates for the staple were high despite good crops and hefty reserves, hitting consumers.

“Prices of food grains has increased in the international market. People are eating more rice to cope with the high global prices of wheat. That is affecting rice prices,” the country’s agriculture minister Abdur Razzaque told reporters.

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