Rates of parboiled rice exported from India held record high levels hit this week even as demand was subdued from African buyers, while Vietnam saw increased trading activity after the holiday period.

India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at a record $542 to $550 per ton this week, unchanged from last week when limited supplies pushed prices to a record high.

“African buyers are having a tough time swallowing these higher prices. They’re hitting the pause button for now,” said a Mumbai-based exporter.

Pakistan’s rice exports are likely to jump to a record high in the year ending in June as rival India’s decision to curb its own shipments forces buyers to purchase more from Islamabad, which is offering the grain at nearly 16-year-high prices.

In Vietnam, 5% broken rice was offered at $637-$640 per metric ton, compared with the $635-$640 range before the holiday, traders said.

Asia rice: India rates extend rally on low supplies; Thai prices ease

Trading activities became more robust after a week-long Lunar New Year or Tet break.

“Supplies are stronger after Tet, both buying and selling activities picked up,” said a trader based in the rice bowl of Mekong Delta.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices were quoted at $610 per ton, sliding down from last week’s prices of $630, tracking a weaker baht.

There is a downwards pressure on prices, said a Bangkok-based trader, adding Thailand did not participate in the Indonesian auction and that new supply would gradually come out next month.

Demand was very thin and internal prices have also fallen, another trader said.

Traders expect Thai prices to continue following a downward trend.

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