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Prices of rice from top exporter India this week climbed to their highest in more than a year, boosted by strong demand amid concerns over a possible restriction on exports of some grades of the staple.

India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $379 to $387 per tonne, their highest since June 2021, from $366-$372 last week. Prices have risen for a third straight week.

Indian parboiled rice prices rose because of a tender from Bangladesh, which could be forced to make big buying this year due to crop damage, said Himanshu Agarwal, executive director at Satyam Balajee, India’s biggest rice exporter.

At the same time, India is considering whether to restrict exports of 100% broken rice, government and industry officials told Reuters on Friday, with the paddy area reduced by a lack of rainfall.

White rice prices were steady because of ample supplies, said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Neighbouring Bangladesh was finalising deals with Vietnam and India to import a total of 330,000 tonnes of rice as it races to replenish reserves and cool domestic prices.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices dropped slightly to $415-$416 per tonne from $416-$420 last week.

Asia rice: Supply concerns lift Indian rates

A Bangkok-based trader attributed the dip to a change in exchange rates.

“During the rainy season buyers are not so active because there is always production,” the trader said, adding some orders came from the Middle East but not in large quantities.

Another trader said orders were coming in from Africa for parboiled rice, while demand for white rice was normal.

Shipments were expected to meet forecasts of 7 million to 7.5 million tonnes from depreciation of baht, lower shipping costs and good yield from rain, he added.

Vietnam remained closed for the National Day holiday.

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