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MUMBAI/HANOI/ BANGKOK/BANGLADESH: Prices of rice exported from India edged lower this week as a recent duty imposed on shipments of the parboiled variety put off buyers. Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $520 to $530 per metric ton, down from last week’s $525-$535 range.

“The export duty has made Indian rice expensive and curtailed buying. Some buyers are hoping the government will not impose the duty after Oct. 15,” said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trade house.

India imposed the duty, effective until Oct. 15, in August, in a bid to rein-in inflation ahead of state elections later this year.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices fell to $585 per metric ton from last week’s $590-$607, as the baht dipped to an 11-month low against the dollar this week, traders said. “Prices are still considered high because exporters are used to $400,” the trader said, adding demand was quiet with additional supply coming out during November-December.

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $610-$620 per metric ton on Thursday, unchanged from last week. “There has been no immediate impact of the Philippines’ move to remove its rice price cap on Vietnam’s export activity, but traders are closely watching,” a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader said.

The trader said Vietnam is also seeking to boost its rice exports to China, adding that Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade will organize a rice export promotion trip to China to meet potential buyers in Beijing and Guangzhou early next month.

Preliminary shipping data showed 126,350 tons of rice to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port during Oct. 1-12, with most of it heading to the Philippines and Indonesia. Meanwhile, Bangladesh doesn’t require to import rice, the country’s agriculture minister said, offering some relief amid volatility in the global market.

Despite good crop and stocks, rice prices however stay high in Bangladesh, the world’s third biggest rice producer.

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