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Top rice exporters saw rates for the staple grain advance this week on increased orders, while Bangladesh raised the price it will offer farmers for the upcoming season’s crop in an effort to keep domestic prices stable.

Bangladesh, which buys rice from local farmers to ensure a support price, build stocks for state welfare programmes and meet emergency needs, will raise prices to 44 taka ($0.41) a kilogram, up from 40 taka ($0.38) a year ago, the food minister said on Thursday.

The government will buy 1.2 million tonnes of rice from local farmers starting from May 7 to Aug. 31.

Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $385-$392 per tonne this week, up from last week’s $383-$389 range, helped by an appreciation in the rupee.

“Demand is rising. Buyers are giving preference to India since prices are lower than Thailand and Vietnam,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Asia rice: Demand props up Indian rates, Vietnam prices to remain higher

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $465-$470 per tonne, up from $460 per a week ago.

“Demand for Vietnamese rice remains strong while the country’s exports in the first quarter rose strongly,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Government data released earlier this week showed Vietnam exported 1.85 million tonnes of rice in the January-March period, up 23.4% from a year earlier. The Philippines and China remained Vietnam’s largest rice buyers in the first quarter, according to the data.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices rose to $485-$490 a tonne from $480-$482 in the previous week.

“Exporters are rushing to buy rice to satisfy orders coming from places like Indonesia,” said a Bangkok-based trader.

Domestic supply is also tightening because it was the end of the season and more supply would come in by June and July, he added.

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