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Rice export prices from Vietnam jumped to two-year highs this week, fuelling worries about demand from top buyers as supplies draw down, while Bangladesh advised farmers to harvest paddy sooner in the northeastern region on flash floods threats.

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice prices were offered at $495-$500 per tonne, matching levels last seen in April 2021, and up from a range of $465-$470 a week ago.

Traders said that the country’s winter-spring harvest – the largest of the year, has ended.

“Demand for Vietnamese rice remains strong, while domestic supplies are running low,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

“With prices staying this high, we think buyers including the Philippines might slow their purchases.”

The Philippines is Vietnam’s largest rice buyer.

Asia rice: Rates rise in top hubs, Bangladesh hikes local purchase prices

Meanwhile, Bangladesh advised to harvest paddy quickly in wetland areas in the northeastern part of the country on chances of flash floods due to the heavy rains predicted in neighbouring India’s Meghalaya state, agriculture ministry officials said.

Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $382 to $388 per tonne, down from the last week’s $385 to $392, with declines this week mainly attributable to a depreciation in the rupee.

“Export demand is quite stable. Asian buyers were active in the past few days,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices were quoted at $480 per tonne, down slightly from last’s weeks range of $485 to $490.

Markets have been muted after the Songkran holiday to mark the Thai new year.

The country’s rice exports in the first two months of 2023 were up 38% on the year to 1.4 million tonnes, a government spokesperson said this week.

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