MUMBAI/HANOI/ BANGKOK/BANGLADESH: Vietnamese and Thai rice export rates declined further from recent highs this week, while India’s curbs on parboiled rice exports brought activity to a standstill for the top exporter as buyers held off for cheaper deals.

Export rates for India’s 5% broken variety were static at $525-$535 per metric ton for a second straight week, albeit still near a record high of $520-$540 hit on Aug. 31.

New Delhi had imposed a 20% duty on parboiled rice exports in August, adding to existing curbs on non-basmati rice. “Exports of broken and white rice are currently banned, and parboiled rice buyers are reluctant to pay the 20% duty,” said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trade house. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $610-$620 per metric ton, compared to $620-$630 last week. “The Philippines’ recent move to impose a ceiling on rice prices might have cooled export prices of Vietnamese rice,” a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader said. But tight supplies and strong demand from other buyers will keep prices from falling further, the trader added.

Preliminary shipping data showed 275,250 metric tons to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port during Sept. 1-22, most of it heading to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Turkey.

The baht has weakened 4.4% versus the dollar so far this year, and hit a more than 10-month low on Wednesday. Meanwhile, domestic rice prices in Bangladesh remained high, despite good yield and record reserves according to food minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder.

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