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BENGALURU/BANGKOK/HANOI/MUMBAI/DHAKA: Export prices of rice from Vietnam climbed to a three-and-a-half-month high this week on steady demand and elevated shipping costs, which dissuaded some traders from signing new contracts.

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice were offered at $415-$420 per tonne on Thursday, compared with $410-$415 a week ago. “Demand is stable, but traders are hesitant to sign new contracts due to high shipping costs,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding outbound shipping costs have risen significantly since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

“We are hearing the Philippines may soon lift its limit on rice imports from Vietnam,” another trader said.

Philippines, Vietnam’s largest rice buyer, in November took steps to temporarily limit imports of the grain from Vietnam amid a big harvest at home.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices fell slightly to $410-$428 per tonne from $415-$428 a week ago, their highest since late June.

“The baht has weakened and domestic prices are seen easing in the coming weeks due to new supply,” one trader said.

There is still strong demand for low-quality rice from domestic feed mills, which are looking to use more rice in their animal feed mix as prices of wheat and corn rally, traders said.

However, foreign demand remained largely muted, except for exporting activities to Iraq, they said.

Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $371 to $378 per tonne, unchanged from the last week, as demand remained strong for broken grades for feed purposes.

“Broken rice is in demand. Feed makers are replacing corn with 25% and 100% broken rice,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

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