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MUMBAI/HANOI/BANGKOK/BANGLADESH: Prices of rice exported from top Asian hubs eased slightly this week as the sharp rally driven by India’s export curbs took a toll on demand and made buyers hesitant to ink new deals.

Top exporter India imposed a 20% duty on exports of parboiled rice on Aug. 25 in addition to existing curbs on the non-basmati white variety, at a time when prices where already near 12-year highs. India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $525 to $535 per metric ton, slightly lower than the record high of $520-$540 touched last week.

“The export duty has added fuel to rising prices. Buyers are not accepting the elevated prices,” said an exporter. Neighboring Bangladesh meanwhile planned to soon lift a ban on aromatic rice exports, given good domestic reserves and record crops, a commerce ministry official said.

Bangladesh usually exports a small quantity of aromatic rice to the US, Britain and the Middle East. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $630-$640 per metric ton on Thursday, its lowest in a month, and down from $640-$650 last week.

“Prices edge down so that supply can meet demand, as buyers are not willing to pay high prices,” a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader said. Preliminary shipping data showed 128,050 tons of rice were to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port during Sept. 1-13, with most of it heading to the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

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