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MUMBAI/ HANOI/BANGKOK: India rice export prices slipped to a two-month low this week on softer demand and a drop in the rupee, while rates for the staple in Thailand saw a slight uptick.

Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $370-$375 per tonne, down from $375-$384 last week, amid a plunge in the rupee, increasing traders’ margins from overseas sales.

Demand from African buyers has been softening amid rising supplies from the new season crop, said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

However, heavy rainfall in India had damaged rice just before harvesting in key producing states such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh earlier this month.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices were quoted at $405-$410 per tonne, compared with $405 last week. Traders say demand has been quiet since deliveries are being made.

The supply situation is steady as slight drops in water levels did not impact production and there was limited damage from flooding, they said. “Rice from northeastern Thailand is coming onto the market,” a Bangkok-based trader said. Prices of Vietnam’s 5% broken rice were unchanged from a week ago, at $425-$430 per tonne, free on board.

Traders said domestic prices are rising due to tight supplies, while exporters are increasing their purchases from farmers to fulfil their export contracts. “The dong currency has this year fallen 8% against the dollar, encouraging exporters to boost sales,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said. Preliminary shipping data showed 15,300 tonnes of rice is to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port in the Nov. 1-11 period, with most of the rice heading to the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

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