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MUMBAI/HANOI/ BANGKOK/DHAKA: Prices of rice exported from India held firm near their highest level in more than a year this week as demand from neighbouring Bangladesh remained strong, while supply concerns and an uptick in demand buoyed rates in Thailand.

Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $379 to $387 per tonne, unchanged from the last week.

“Parboiled rice got boost from Bangladesh’s buying. In white rice, demand is mainly for 100% and 25% broken rice,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Robust demand from Bangladesh has underpinned rice prices in recent weeks as Dhaka plans to import around 1.2 million tonnes over the next few months to shore up reserves and cool high domestic prices.

A senior Bangladeshi food ministry official said the country has finalised imports of 530,000 tonnes of rice from India, Vietnam and Myanmar under government-to-government deals and is in talks to buy more. Meanwhile, India is considering whether to restrict exports of 100% broken rice, after the paddy area has been reduced by scanty rainfall. Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices increased slightly to $416 to $420 per tonne, from $415-$416 per tonne.

“There is strong domestic demand an order to Iraq is gradually being delivered,” said one Bangkok-based trader. However, there have been some issues with supply and transportation due to flooding from heavy rainfall, said another trader. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice were offered at $390-$393 per tonne, unchanged from two weeks ago as markets were closed last week on the National Day holiday.

“We expect demand for Vietnamese rice will increase during the rest of the year as bad weather conditions are hurting rice production in China and India,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said. The trader added China’s demand for Vietnam’s glutinous rice traditionally rise towards the end of the year.

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