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Prices of rice exported from Vietnam rose for a third consecutive week to a near 16-month high on robust demand, while a weaker rupee weighed on rates for the staple from top exporter India.

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $445-$450 per tonne free-on-board, its highest since July 2021 and up from $440-$445 a week ago.

“Demand for Vietnamese rice remains strong,” said a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City.

However, traders also said some Chinese buyers have switched to cheaper rice from Pakistan and India instead of Vietnam and Thailand.

For November, the country’s rice exports fell 21.4% from the previous month, government customs data showed.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices rose for a sixth consecutive week to $444 per tonne on Thursday, from $427–$440 per tonne last week.

Traders attributed the gains to fluctuations in the domestic currency, despite slowing demand.

“Exporters are easing buying due to the high prices,” so demand has reduced, a Bangkok-based trader said.

Asia rice: Thailand, Vietnam bank on new deals; few eye cheaper India supply

The supply situation, meanwhile, remained unchanged as new rice continued to enter the market.

But despite cheaper offers, a weaker rupee, which increases traders’ margins from overseas sales and prompts them to cut export rates, and a lack of demand from big buyers weighed on the Indian market.

Its 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $373 to $378 per tonne, down from last week’s $375-$380.

Demand is very weak from all the key buying destinations ahead of the New Year holidays, said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Domestic rice prices in Bangladesh stayed elevated despite a series of measures, including an extension of a deadline to import rice at reduced tariff by three months to end-March, after crops were destroyed by floods earlier this year.

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