Iranian importers default on Indian rice deals – trade sources

  • NEW DELHI, (Reuters) - Iranian importers have defaulted on payments for about 125,000 tonnes of basmati rice from India, Tehran’s top supplier of the premium aromatic grain, raising concerns about future shipments of the grade that fetches nearly $2 billion a year to New Delhi.

    Iranian buyers have refused to take the delivery of basmati rice containers worth nearly $125 million citing a crash in domestic prices, said the Indian sources directly involved in these deals.

    Higher imports from other suppliers, including Pakistan, had bumped up supplies to Tehran, they said.

    Reuters could not contact Iranian buyers involved in the deals.

    Indian suppliers of these cargoes, mostly small exporters, said their Iranian partners had wilfully reneged on the contract. The containers are now lying at Iran’s major cargo port of Bandar Abbas. (Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

  • UPDATE 2-Bangladesh to cut duty on rice imports to cool local prices

  • * Second cut in rice duty in less than two months

    * Bangladesh a major rice importer after floods cut output

    * High prices a worry; Dhaka seeks to buy 1.5 mln T

    * Bangladesh demand could stoke Asia rice prices (Add imports target, details)

    By Ruma Paul

    DHAKA, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Bangladesh will slash the duty on rice imports to cool high local prices of the staple grain, the country's food minister said on Wednesday, the second cut in less than two months.

    The import duty on rice will be lowered to 2 percent from 10 percent, Food Minister Kamrul Islam told reporters, down from 28 percent in June.

    Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, has emerged as a major importer of the grain this year due to depleted stocks and record high local prices following flash floods in April that cut around 1 million tonnes of rice production.

    "We have taken the decision anticipating major floods that could further cut rice production," Islam said, adding the circular outlining the cut would be issued in a day or two.

    Growing demand from Bangladesh could help stoke Asian rice prices that hit multi-year highs in June.

    The government is making a frantic effort to build buffer stocks as it aims to import as much as 1.5 million tonnes of rice in the year to June.

    Bangladesh has bought 250,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam in a state-to-state deal and is issuing a series of tenders after its initial plans to import the grain from Thailand and India suffered a setback over high prices.

    The government is in talks with Cambodia and Myanmar to import rice while it is also engaged in a second round of discussions with Thailand and India.

    Rice is a staple food for Bangladesh’s 160 million people and high prices pose a problem for the government which faces a national election next year.

    Bangladesh produces around 34 million tonnes of rice annually but uses almost all its production to feed its population. It often requires imports to cope with shortages caused by floods or droughts.

    Bangladesh also has a major wheat import need after floods damaged its crops but tough state purchasing conditions and slow ship unloading in ports mean trading houses are unwilling to sell grain to the Asian country. (Editing by Susan Thomas)
  • Italy demands origin labels for pasta and rice

  • FILE PHOTO - Italian Minister of Agriculture Maurizio Martina attends a demonstration by Italian agricultural association Coldiretti in Rome March 31, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

    FILE PHOTO - Italian Minister of Agriculture Maurizio Martina attends a demonstration by Italian agricultural association Coldiretti in Rome March 31, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

     (REUTERS)
    By Crispian Balmer and Rod Nickel ROME/WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - All packets of pasta and rice sold in Italy will have to include labels of origin showing where the produce was grown, the government ruled on Thursday, in a move it said was aimed at protecting local farmers. The agriculture and industry ministers signed a decree ordering the new labeling policy, saying it would run in an experimental fashion for two years, and criticizing the European Union for not introducing the measure across the 28-nation bloc. "We are putting Italy in the vanguard of Europe when it comes to labeling as a competitive tool for the Italian (agriculture) sector," Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina said in a statement. Canadian exporters and farmers fear the move will depress prices in Canada, the biggest global exporter of durum, the wheat used to make pasta. It would require Italian pasta makers to segregate supplies by country, adding to costs. Annual Canadian sales to Italy are worth an estimated C$248 million ($197 million), based on average export volumes and International Grains Council price data. The government decree said that pasta packaging must reveal where the wheat was grown and milled into semolina for pasta-making. Rice packaging will state where the rice was grown, treated and packaged.
     
    Industry Minister Carlo Calenda said most Italian consumers wanted to know the origin of their food, adding that it was important to promote Italian farmers. "We want to emphasize the importance of 'Made in Italy' and the quality of our production in order to compete with greater strength on international markets," he said in a statement. The Canadian government is seeking clarification from Rome and assessing Italy's trade obligations under the World Trade Organization and free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, a spokesman for Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said. There is no indication that Italy's move has affected trade yet, he said. Cam Dahl, president of Cereals Canada, whose members include Cargill Inc and Richardson International, said he expected Italy's labels to take effect early next year. "That would unquestionably harm our exports," he said. Italy is Canada's second-biggest durum export market so far in the 2016-17 crop marketing year as of May, importing 676,000 tonnes. The United States is also a significant durum producer. Italy may be subject to infringement proceedings from the European Commission, a process aimed at member states which breach EU law, according to Dahl. ($1 = 1.2587 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Crispian Balmer in Rome and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; editing by Mark Heinrich and Jonathan Oatis)
  • Philippines sets $451.08/tonne price ceiling for rice imports

  • MANILA, July 13 (Reuters) - The Philippines' state grains agency said on Thursday it set a price ceiling of $451.08 a tonne for the 250,000 tonnes of rice it was seeking from international suppliers, and identified 11 prospective bidders from Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore.

    The Philippines, one of the world's biggest rice importers, usually buys from major sellers Vietnam and Thailand, where export prices have fallen amid weak demand.

    The National Food Authority (NFA) is seeking supply of 25 percent broken long grain white rice for delivery between August and September to boost its thinning stockpile ahead of the typhoon season later this year.

    That variety is trading at around $393-$398 a tonne in Vietnam RI-VNBKN25-P1 and quoted at $393 a tonne RI-THWHT25-A by the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

    "That (price ceiling) is the average of all the rice prices including (shipping) expenses," Tomas Escarez, head of the bids and awards panel at the NFA, told reporters after meeting with prospective bidders.

    The NFA's initial list of prospective bidders includes Olam International Ltd and Louis Dreyfus Corp of Singapore, and Vietnam Northern Food Corp, also known as Vinafood I, and Vinafood II.

    Thai suppliers Asia Golden Rice Co Ltd, Ponglarp Co Ltd, Thai Hua Co Ltd, Capital Cereals Co Ltd and Thai Granlux International Inc, and Vietnamese traders Gentraco and Gia International Corp are also interested in bidding, the NFA said.

    Bids must be submitted on or before July 25, when the sealed offers will be opened. The NFA will award a maximum 50,000 tonnes to each winning bidder.

    State inventories have shrunk to the least in more than three years, just enough to cover five days of national requirement, or just a fraction of the 30-day buffer stock required during the lean harvest season from July to September.

    Escarez said the NFA will also allow local private rice traders to import up to 805,000 tonnes of rice under an annual quota scheme, which should arrive between December and February next year. (Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Additional reporting by My Pham in HANOI and Patpicha Tanakasempipat in BANGKOK; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
  • Hundreds Show Support for Former Thai PM as Rice Scheme Trial Nears an End

  • Hundreds Show Support for Former Thai PM as Rice Scheme Trial Nears an End

    Reuters

    Ousted former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra greets supporters as she arrives at the Supreme Court for a trial on criminal negligence, which looks into her role in a debt-ridden rice subsidy scheme during her administration, in Bangkok, Thailand July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom REUTERS

     
    By Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Aukkarapon Niyomyat
    BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrived at a Bangkok court to shouts of encouragement from her supporters on Friday, two weeks before the final stages of a case about her involvement in a ruinously expensive state rice subsidy scheme.
    Yingluck, whose government was ousted in a 2014 military coup, faces up to 10 years in prison if she is found guilty of negligence over her role in the scheme, which proved popular with rural voters but was a disaster for state coffers.
    The former prime minister and opposition say the trial is politically motivated and is aimed at undermining the populist movement that has won every election since 2001. The movement is opposed by Thailand's powerful military and conservative elite.
    Around 500 supporters showed up outside the court on Friday, police said, the largest turnout in many months. One wrote "Love the prime minister" on his hand, while others shouted: "fight, fight". Yingluck has denied the charges against her.
     
    The military has said it will deploy troops to maintain security on July 21, when a final hearing in the case is expected.
    Yingluck's critics see the rice case as a litmus test of the junta's sincerity in tackling corruption in politics, one of its promises after it seized power in 2014.
    Closing statements in the case will be delivered within 30 days of the final hearing, court officials said.
    "I'm confident in the witnesses we've presented," Yingluck told crowds outside the court.
    "The encouragement I've been given is still good ... this is a strong characteristic of the Thai people," she said.
    STREET PROTESTS
    Successive Thai governments have supported farmers since the 1980s, but none of the schemes has proved as popular with rural voters as the rice programs pioneered by Yingluck's brother, ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
     
    Yingluck's government went a step further, promising to buy rice from farmers at some 50 percent above the market price.
    The scheme helped her to sail to victory in a 2011 general election, making her the country's first female prime minister.
    However, public losses from the scheme fueled street protests against Yingluck that eventually saw her removed from power just weeks before the 2014 coup.
    The scheme also saw Thailand lose its crown as the world's top rice exporter as other countries, notably Vietnam and India, filled the void when Thailand held back rice stocks it had bought from farmers.
    The military government has managed to sell off most of about 18 million tonnes of rice accumulated during the rice scheme, some of it for industrial purposes, according to the commerce ministry.
    Yingluck said on Friday she was not sure when she would deliver her closing statement.
    (Additional reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Paul Tait)
  • Asia Rice-Prices fall on weak demand, Bangladesh steps up imports

  • HANOI/DHAKA, July 6 (Reuters) - Rice prices in the world's top three exporters of the staple fell this week on weak demand, traders said on Thursday.

    In Thailand, benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 was quoted at $420-$430 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, down from $432-$440 a tonne last week.

    Weak overseas demand and a falling baht have led traders to quote lower prices to attract buyers, traders said.

    "Prices have gone down because the baht has weakened," a trader in Bangkok said.

    The mass exodus of migrant workers since June 23 following the introduction of new labour regulations by the Thai military government has also hit the Thai rice industry with labour shortages.

    "The shortage of workers at warehouses and at the docks has led to delay in the loading of shipment and this has hurt exporters' confidence in their ability to fulfil shipments," said another Bangkok-based rice trader.

    More than half of the labour force in the Thai rice industry are migrant workers from neighbouring Cambodia and about three quarters of this workforce have left the country, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

    The Thai government has since delayed parts of the new labour law, but many migrant workers have yet to return.

    "Thai exporters hesitate to take new order because of the labour shortage and many potential international buyers are thinking twice about buying Thai rice because of this uncertainty," Chookiat said.

    The labour shortage could raise the cost of production of Thai off-season crop, he said, which is expected to arrive from around August to September.

    In Vietnam, the benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 dropped to $405-$410 a tonne this week, FOB Saigon, down from $410-$415 last week. There were also concerns over the quality and production of the grain in the harvest period.

    "Farmers said the production and quality of rice this time was not as good as usual due to earlier rainfall," a trader in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding the exact impact had yet to be estimated.

    Vietnam's new harvest season has begun since late-June, traders said.

    Thailand and Vietnam are the world's second- and third-biggest rice exporters.

    India's 5 percent broken parboiled rice prices RI-INBKN5-P1 eased by $2 per tonne to $419 to $422 on faltering demand from buyers in Africa.

    "Demand from African countries was weak at higher levels. They are postponing purchases expecting price correction," said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

    "Even demand from Bangladesh is weak. It is not buying as much as industry was anticipating."

    India raised the minimum purchase price of common grade paddy rice by 5.4 percent to 1,550 rupees ($24.03) per 100 kg for the year starting July 1.

    But Bangladesh said it was still stepping up imports due to depleted stocks and record local prices following flash floods.

    A Bangladeshi delegation is now in Thailand to finalise imports of rice in a government-to-government deal, officials said.

    "We don't have any other option but to speed up imports," said a senior food ministry official. "This time we won't be able to achieve our local procurement target. We are going for state-to-state deals even if it is costlier, as importing via tenders is a lengthy process."

    Bangladesh is buying 200,000 tonnes of Vietnamese white rice at $430 a tonne and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $470 a tonne in a state-to-state deal - at rates much higher than in the previous three tenders.

    It is also in talks with India, and private traders have started importing rice from the neighbour after the government cut import duties late last month.

    Meanwhile, Philippines' state grains buyer on Thursday also issued an international tender to buy 250,000 tonnes of 25 percent broken long grain white rice, rushing to boost thinning government stockpile.

    Reporting by My Pham in HANOI, Panu Wongcha-um in BANGKOK, Ruma Paul in DHAKA, Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

  • Rice traders launch campaign to educate farmers on pesticides

  • Following the European Union’s recent decision to impose a stringent maximum residue limit (MRL) for Tricyclazole, a fungicide used by farmers against a disease from December 31, 2017, rice exporters in the country have launched an extensive campaign to educate the farmers.

    Rice traders, Rice traders in India, Rice industry, Rice traders campaign,  rice exporters, MRL, Tricyclazole, All India Rice Exporters Association , global basmati exports
    The focus of the campaign, which is being carried out in collaboration with agricultural scientists, has been to educate the farmers about using the fungicide. (Image: Reuters)
     
    Following the European Union’s recent decision to impose a stringent maximum residue limit (MRL) for Tricyclazole, a fungicide used by farmers against a disease from December 31, 2017, rice exporters in the country have launched an extensive campaign to educate the farmers in key growing states of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh on the judicious use of pesticides. According to Vijay Setia, president, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), the focus of the campaign, which is being carried out in collaboration with agricultural scientists, has been to educate the farmers about using the fungicide within 70 days of commencement of kharif sowing and not to use it at the flowering stage. “Many a times rice exports consignments were rejected because of detection of pesticides residues and our focus would be educate the farmers against use of excessive pesticides which would lead to higher price realisation,” Setia told FE. EU has brought down the MRL level for Tricyclazole to virtually zero or 0.01 milligram (mg) per kg from next year. Similarly, USA does not permit the presence of residues of pesticides like Isoprothiolane and Buprofezin beyond 0.01 mg per kg. EU and the US markets are high value markets for rice exporters although major chunk of rice is shipped to mostly Gulf and African countries. According to a commerce ministry official, “Only those pesticides should be used by farmers which are recommended by the state agriculture universities for application on paddy crop. In addition, the correct dose of the recommended pesticide.” The official said the country is largest exporter of rice in the world since last five years. “However, export of rice has faced problems in last few years in different markets like USA, EU and Iran due to detection of residues of pesticides exceeding prescribed MRL,” he noted. AIREA will be holding a series of meetings with farmers across key basmati growing areas of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh as farmers are preparing nurseries for kharif paddy plantation. India has an around 85% share in global basmati exports while the rest is contributed by Pakistan.  
  • Bangladesh issues tender to import 50,000 tonnes of rice

  • DHAKA, June 21 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's state grains buyer on Wednesday issued its fourth international tender since May, looking to import 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice as it grapples with depleted stocks and record local prices. The deadline for offers is July 9, with the rice to be shipped within 40 days of signing any deal, a senior official at the country's state grains buyer said, declining to be identified. The step comes as the government is set to slash tax on rice imports after flash floods hit local output, plunging state reserves to 10-year lows. Growing demand from Bangladesh will help stoke Asian prices that have already hit multi-year highs in recent months. Separately, Ataur Rahman, additional secretary at the food ministry, told Reuters last week, that the country would import 200,000 tonnes of white rice at $430 a tonne and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $470 a tonne from Vietnam in a government-to-government deal. Those rates are sharply higher than what it has been paying through previous tenders. Bangladesh is buying 50,000 tonnes of white rice at $406.48 a tonne and 100,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $427.85 and $445.11 a tonne through tenders. The government is also in talks with Thailand and India to import rice to replenish reserves. Meanwhile, Bangladesh's central bank has ordered banks to allow traders to import rice without any deposit against letters of credit. (Reporting by Ruma Paul)  
  • India raises rice, cotton buying prices as farmers’ protests mount

  • India raised minimum purchase prices for rice, cotton and other crops by the most since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, according a government circular seen by Reuters, amid ongoing protests in the country's biggest farming states. Prices paid to local farmers for common grade paddy rice are to be raised by 5.4 percent to 1,550 rupees ($24.03) per 100 kg for the year starting on July 1, while long staple cotton prices have been hiked by 3.8 percent to 4,320 rupees per 100 kg. The increases for rice, cotton and other crops follow an outburst of discontent in the heartland states of Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring Maharashtra as farmers sought higher prices and debt relief. Five protesting farmers were shot dead this month in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, which along with Maharashtra is ruled by Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The unrest has posed a challenge to regional BJP leaders and Modi, who have promised to double farmers' incomes over the next five years. India is the world's biggest rice exporter and buys the grain from local farmers to protect them from distressed sales and to build stocks for welfare programmes. The government fixes minimum prices for more than two dozen farm commodities, although it mainly procures wheat and rice. Growers of other crops like onions, tomatoes and potatoes are also protesting due to steep falls in the prices of their produce and the absence of the government buying. The government has also raised soybean prices by 9.9 percent to 3,050 rupees per 100 kg, and corn by 7.1 percent to 1,425 rupees per 100 kg, effective from July 1. The increases for these two grains were also the greatest since 2012/13. ($1 = 64.5125 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI and Nidhi Verma in NEW DELHI; Editing by Tom Hogue)
  • Asia Rice-Importer demand pushes prices, Vietnam hits near 2.5-yr high

  • Prices in Vietnam near 2.5-year high * Thailand jumps to highest level in almost 1 year By My Pham HANOI, June 1 Strong demand from top importing countries has led to a spurt in Asian rice prices, with the grain being quoted at its highest in nearly two and a half years in Vietnam and touching almost a year-high in Thailand, traders said on Thursday. Vietnam's 5-percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 was quoted at a level unseen since December 2014, at $390 a tonne, FOB Saigon, up from $360-$380 last week, as suppliers looked forward to export deals, traders said.
     
    However, trade in Vietnam was thin despite higher prices as traders and farmers hold on to stocks expecting a further jump in prices. "People expect prices to rise to $400 and even more, so they don't want to sell now. Traders want to wait and see," said a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City. Bangladesh said it will buy 250,000-300,000 tonnes of Vietnamese rice immediately and plans to increase rice imports from Vietnam to 500,000 tonnes by end-2017. It will also buy one million tonnes of Vietnamese rice annually until 2022. Meanwhile, the Philippines also said it would issue a tender next month to import 250,000 tonnes of the grain from Thailand and Vietnam, and possibly also India. Likewise, prices also jumped in Thailand and India, the world's first and second biggest rice exporters, respectively. Thai benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 rose this week to $430 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, from $411-$412 last week, the highest level in almost a year. Thai prices have risen sharply since April, leading to a greater gap over prices in Vietnam, Thailand's main competitor, but traders said they have not yet lost buyers. "The upward price trend continues normally as there is demand and purchases are made," a trader in Bangkok said, adding that ships were still coming in to load the grain. Traders also said the price hike has started making the local grain too expensive for them to buy for export. "Exporters have to be careful, because local prices are higher now than when deals were made, making us fulfill shipments at our own loss," another trader in Bangkok said, adding that some traders had shied away from fresh deals. Thai prices are expected to stabilize in the next few weeks, traders said. In India, the 5 percent broken parboiled rice RI-INBKN5-P1 jumped $15 per tonne to $413 to $416 on improvement in demand and following a rally in overseas prices. "Export inquiries have risen in the past few days. Indian rice has become competitive as prices are rising in Thailand and Vietnam," said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. In the last few months Indian exports had slowed down due to an appreciating rupee and as local paddy prices rose, eroding the competitiveness of exporters. The rupee has risen nearly 5 percent so far in 2017 and is trading near its highest level in 21 months. A strong rupee trims returns of exporters. "At the current price level we can sign export deals. African buyers have stared purchases," said another exporter based in Kakinada. (Reporting by My Pham in HANOI, Patpicha Tanakasempipat in BANGKOK, Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI; Editing by Sunil Nair)
  • Bangladesh to speed up rice imports in wake of flooding

  • Bangladesh will speed up plans to import rice that it brought in to build reserves and rein in local prices after flash floods hit domestic output, government officials said on Thursday. As part of that, a Bangladeshi delegation is now in Vietnam to finalize imports of the staple grain in a government-to-government deal, said a procurement official, declining to be identified as he was not authorized to speak with media. He did not give further details on the transaction. Ramped up demand from Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, could underpin prices in major exporters Vietnam, Thailand and India. "We are making frantic efforts to boost state reserves and bring down prices of rice," said the procurement official. Local rice prices have reached record highs and state reserves are at six-year lows in the wake of flooding in April that wiped out around 700,000 tonnes of output. The state grains buyer earlier this month said it would ship in 600,000 tonnes of rice after the flooding, initially issuing two tenders for a total of 100,000 tonnes of rice, its first such tenders since 2011. Meanwhile, the procurement official said the government had decided not to withdraw duty on private rice imports, looking to protect farmers. Bangladesh produces around 34 million tonnes of rice annually but uses almost all its production to feed its population of 160 million. It often requires imports, however, to cope with shortages caused by natural calamities like floods and droughts.
  • Asia Rice-Vietnam prices hit 13-month high; Thailand up on lower supply

  • May 25 Vietnam rice hit its highest level in over a year this week on potential export deals and prices in Thailand firmed up as supply eased, while the Indian variety gained on growing demand from Africa, traders said. Expectations of strong demand from top importing countries such as Bangladesh and the Philippines are fuelling the uptrend in Vietnam and Thailand rice prices. Vietnam's 5-percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 was quoted at a level unseen since April last year, at $360-$380 a tonne, FOB Saigon, up from $365-$370 last week, as suppliers eyed export deals, traders said. Bangladesh said on Tuesday it will buy 250,000-300,000 tonnes of Vietnamese rice immediately and planned to increase rice imports from Vietnam to 500,000 tonnes by end-2017. It will also buy one million tonne of Vietnamese rice annually until 2022. The Philippines said on Monday it would issue a tender next month to import 250,000 tonnes of the grain from key suppliers Thailand and Vietnam, and possibly also India. Thai benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 firmed this week to $411-$412 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, from $385-$411 last week, the highest in nine months. "Prices have strengthened greatly, and supply is running low while demand remains constant," a trader in Bangkok said. But traders in Thailand and Vietnam said the price hike has started making the local grain too expensive for them to buy for export, raising a possibility for short supply in the market. "After the Bangladesh news, I can no longer buy anything," said a trader in Ho Chi Minh City. "The market is really stressed already, even though there's no real trade," another trader said, referring to the Bangladesh deals. Thailand and Vietnam are the world's second and third biggest rice exporters. In India, the world's biggest rice exporter, 5-percent broken parboiled rice RI-INBKN5-P1 jumped by $7 per tonne to $398-$403, on a slight improvement in demand and a rally in local paddy prices. "Export prices are going up, tracking rise in other countries. Demand has also improved from African buyers," said M.Adishankar, executive director at Sri Lalitha, an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. In the past two months, there has been a sharp rise in Indian rates on government buying and as appreciation in the rupee caused a rally in local paddy prices. "Rising paddy price in the local market has been forcing us to raise export prices," said another exporter based in Kakinada. Global rice prices are likely to go further up due to demand from Bangladesh, Dhaka-based traders and government officials said. Earlier this month, Bangladesh's state grains buyer said the country will import 600,000 tonnes of rice. Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer with around 34 million tonnes, could emerge as a major importer this year, as low stocks and soaring prices led the government to import the grain. (Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat in BANGKOK, Mai Nguyen in HANOI, Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI, Additional reporting by Ruma Paul in DHAKA; Editing by Vyas Mohan)
     
  • Bangladesh gets lowest offer of $427.85/T in rice import tender

  • May 22 Bangladesh received the lowest offer of $427.85 a tonne from Dubai-based Sukhbir Agro Energy Ltd in a tender to import 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice, officials at the state grains buyer said on Monday. The state agency, Directorate General of Food, came up with its first tender for rice since 2011 as local rice prices hit a record high, and state reserves are at a six-year low. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  • Iraq still in talks about buying 100,000 T U.S. rice -traders

  • May 19, 2017, 09:40:00 AM EDT By Reuters

     
     Shutterstock photo
    HAMBURG, May 19 (Reuters) - Iraq's state grains buyer
    remains in talks about buying around 100,000 tonnes of rice to
    be sourced from the United States, with no purchase yet made,
    European traders said on Friday.
        Offers were submitted on May 15 and must remain valid until
    May 21, they said. [nL8N1ID372]
        Traders said the trade ministry in Iraq, a major global
    buyer of wheat and rice, had sent out price inquiries to trading
    houses about buying the rice rather than issuing a formal
    international tender.
        Only two offers were made for nearby prompt shipment, they
    said.
        One U.S.-based multinational trading house offered $587 c&f
    for 100,000 tonnes and a Middle Eastern trading company offered
    40,000 to 60,000 at $595 a tonne c&f.
        "Iraq normally says a minimum of three offers should be made
    for grains and rice purchases so a cancellation is expected, but
    it is not clear if this is a formal tender," one European trader
    said. "The rather tight supplies of U.S. rice available for
    shipment up to the end of June make this sale anyway difficult
    for exporters."
        Iraq's cabinet authorised the trade ministry on May 9 to
    make direct purchases of wheat and rice to guarantee food
    security. [nL8N1IB6YY]
        Baghdad has been struggling to import grains and rice for
    its food subsidy programme after introducing new payment and
    quality terms which left trading houses unwilling to participate
    in its international tenders.
        Iraq told suppliers earlier this year it would pay for its
    grain in instalments. Traders said they were informed by Iraq's
    Grain Board that low oil prices and other financial factors were
    forcing the country to delay payments. [nL3N1H64NC]
    
    Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/iraq-still-in-talks-about-buying-100000-t-us-rice-traders-20170519-00501#ixzz4hXDa5wvp
  • Asia Rice-Thai, Vietnam prices hit multi-month high; India stays sluggish

  • * Thai upward price trend continues on ongoing demand, export prospects * Vietnamese traders store rice, anticipate more gains * India's high prices slow down trade, turn away main buyers By Patpicha Tanakasempipat and My Pham BANGKOK/HANOI, May 18 Rice prices hit multi-month peak in Thailand and Vietnam this week on export prospects, while high rates in India kept buyers at bay, traders said on Thursday. Thai benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 rose this week to $385-$411 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, from $387-$392 last week. At a mean of $398 per tonne, Thai rice prices hit their highest in nine months, Reuters data showed.
     
    Traders said as Thai exporters are still buying stocks to fill shipments, heightened expectations of more demand from some of the world's top importers also helped prices to surge. Last week, Bangladesh's state grains buyer said they will import 600,000 tonnes of rice. It has already issued two tenders for a total of 100,000 tonnes of rice. "Exporters continue to sell, ships are still being loaded, and big buyers are now coming in," said a Bangkok-based trader. "If buyers keep purchasing, prices will keep increasing," said another trader from Bangkok. Vietnam's 5-percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 was quoted at $365-370 a tonne, FOB Saigon, up from $355-$360 last week, following the trend in Thailand. Averaging $367.50 per tonne, Vietnamese rice prices are at an 11-month high, according to Reuters data. Anticipating more demand from leading importing countries, Vietnam traders are storing rice in order to sell later as prices advance. "People expect demand to jump further so they are not rushing to sell now," said a Ho Chi Minh-based trader. Vietnam shipped an estimated 1.84 million tonnes of the grain between January and April, down 8.8 percent from the same period last year. Thailand and Vietnam are the world's second- and third-biggest rice exporters. In India, the world's biggest rice exporter, 5-percent broken parboiled rice prices RI-INBKN5-P1 eased by $3 per tonne to $391-$396 a tonne this week on sluggish export demand. In the past two months, there has been a sharp rise in Indian rates on government buying and as appreciation in the rupee caused a rally in local paddy prices. The rupee has risen more than 5 percent so far this year and is trading near its highest level in 21 months. A strong rupee trims returns of exporters, who cannot afford to cut prices. "African buyers are shifting to Vietnam. Indian rice is not competitive at the current price level," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. India mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to the Middle East. The Indian government buys rice from local farmers at a fixed price to supply subsidised food and meet any emergency needs such as a sudden spike in prices. The government has bought 36 million tonnes rice from farmers so far in 2016/17, up 24 percent from a year ago. (Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat in BANGKOK and My Pham in HANOI; Additional reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  • Govt to import 50,000 tonnes of white rice

  • Bangladesh's state grains buyer issued an international tender on Monday to import 50,000 tonnes of white rice, officials said, its second tender in a week to build reserves and control prices of the staple.  The state agency, Directorate General of Food, came up with its first tender for rice since 2011 as local rice prices hit a record high and state reserves are at a six-year low. It plans to import 600,000 tonnes of rice after flash floods hit fields about to be harvested, potentially wiping out 700,000 tonnes of crops. Authorities are considering waiving the tax on rice imports, Badrul Hasan, the head of the Directorate General of Food, told Reuters last week. He said the state agency also planned to import rice through government-to-government deals with producers such as Thailand, Vietnam and India because importing via tenders is a lengthy process. In the latest tender, the deadline for offers is May 28 and the rice is to be shipped in 40 days after the deal is signed, a senior official at the state grains buyer said. The world's fourth-biggest rice producer with more than 30 million tonnes per year, Bangladesh consumes almost all its production to feed its population of 160 million. It often requires imports, however, to cope with shortages caused by natural disasters like floods and droughts. (Reporting by Ruma Paul, editing by Ed Osmond)
  • Asia Rice-Buyers turn to Vietnam as prices stay firm in Thailand, India

  • * Thai prices expected to remain high for next one to three weeks * Indian prices stable on weak demand, higher local paddy prices By Patpicha Tanakasempipat BANGKOK, May 11 Buyers of Asian rice turned to Vietnam this week as prices remained firm in Thailand and India, traders said on Thursday. Thai benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 edged up to $387-$392 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, from $380-$390 last week. "Some ships are still loading," said a trader in Bangkok. Thai prices went up last week as exporters rushed to fill shipments amid a slow off-season harvest. Prices are expected to remain high for the next one to three weeks, traders said.
     
    Trade will likely stay subdued as rice-consuming countries in the Middle East prepare to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims around the world will be fasting. Ramadan begins on May 26 and ends on June 24 this year. Thailand's commerce ministry said on Thursday it will hold the second state auction of the year on May 24 for 1.82 million tonnes of rice. Vietnam's 5-percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 was quoted at $355-360 a tonne, FOB Saigon, up from $350-$352 last Thursday on more active trade. "Thai prices increased further, so importers turned to Vietnamese rice," said a Ho Chi Minh-based trader. Vietnam shipped an estimated 1.84 million tonnes of the grain between January and April, down 8.8 percent from the same period last year. Thailand and Vietnam are the world's second and third biggest rice exporters. In India, the world's biggest rice exporter, prices of 5-percent broken parboiled rice RI-INBKN5-P1 were steady at $394-$399 a tonne this week as export demand remained weak amid a rally in local paddy prices. "Overseas buyers are not ready to pay more than $390 and Indian exporters couldn't cut prices due to rising paddy prices," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. "Buyers are shifting to other producers like Vietnam." Local paddy prices are rising due to limited supplies and aggressive buying by state-run agencies, dealers said. The Indian government buys rice from local farmers at a fixed price to supply subsidised food and meet any emergency needs such as a sudden spike in prices. An appreciating rupee is also making it difficult for exporters to reduce prices, said another exporter based in Kakinada. The rupee has risen more than 5 percent so far in 2017, trading near its highest level in 21 months. A stronger rupee trims returns of exporters. India mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to the Middle East. Bangladesh said this week it will import 600,000 tonnes of rice, parts of which will be from the world's top three exporters through government-to-government deals. (Additional reporting by My Pham in HANOI, Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI, Ruma Paul in DHAKA; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  • India to produce record food grains in 2016/17

  • Workers remove dust from wheat at a wholesale grain market in Chandigarh, India April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/Files Workers remove dust from wheat at a wholesale grain market in Chandigarh, India April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/Files India is likely to produce a record 273.38 million tonnes of food grains 2016/17, slightly higher than the previous estimate of 271.98 million tonnes, farm ministry said in a statement, as ample monsoon rains boosted crop yields. The south Asian nation is likely to produce a record 97.44 million tonnes of wheat, higher than a previous forecast of 96.64 million tonnes, the statement said. India's rice production is estimated at 109.15 million tonnes, while pulses output is pegged at 22.40 million tonnes. (Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Writing by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Malini Menon)
  • Asia Rice-Prices up on thin supply in India, Thailand

  • * Indian rice up on stronger rupee, higher local paddy prices * Prices edge up in Thailand on thin supply * Vietnam's market quiet amid low post-holiday demand By My Pham HANOI, May 4 Rice prices rose on thin supply in India and as exporters in Thailand rushed to fill orders amid a slow off-season harvest, while Vietnam markets were quiet after a three-day holiday. India's 5 percent broken parboiled rice RI-INBKN5-P1 rose by $7 per tonne to $394 to $399 a tonne this week as local paddy prices rose due to thin supply. "The government agencies are actively buying paddy ... Supply is very limited for private players. This has pushed up paddy prices. Accordingly we have to raise rice export prices," said M. Adishankar, executive director at Sri Lalitha, an exporter based in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. The Indian government buys rice from local farmers at a fixed price for subsidised food inventories and to meet any emergency needs such as a sudden spike in prices. "The strengthening rupee is also making us uncompetitive," said another rice exporter based in Kakinada. The rupee has gained around 6 percent so far in 2017 and is trading near its highest in 21 months. A strong rupee means exporters need to charge more for their overseas shipments. India, the world's top rice exporter, mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to the Middle East. Thai benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 rose to $380-$390 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, this week from $360-$3775 last week, on exporters' rush to fill shipments amid a slow off-season harvest. "It looks like exporters are scrambling to fulfil large orders previously received, and now market supply is also running low," a Bangkok-based trader said. As long as exporters are still taking care of their orders, prices could be rising steadily, another trader in Bangkok said. Thailand has exported 3.87 million tonnes of rice this year through April 26, a 12 percent jump from the same period last year, according to the latest figures by the commerce ministry. Vietnam's 5-percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 edged up to $350-$352 a tonne, FOB Saigon, from $350 last week, with traders citing a quiet market after national public holidays on Monday and Tuesday. Vietnam has shipped an estimated 1.84 million tonnes of the grain between January and April, down 8.8 percent from the same period last year, the government said on Friday. Thailand and Vietnam are the world's second and third-biggest rice exporters. (Reporting by My Pham in HANOI; Additional reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI and Patpicha Tanakasempipat in BANGKOK; Editing by Tom Hogue)
  • Egypt has contracted to import 20,000 tonnes of Indian rice

  • CAIRO May 3 (Reuters) - Egypt, traditionally a rice exporter, has contracted to purchase 20,000 tonnes of Indian rice, a cabinet statement said on Wednesday. The government statement did not explain why it had contracted to buy the rice. But in December, the government had said it would import rice after cancelling a tender to buy locally produced rice when the bidding companies all offered higher prices than the government had asked for. Egypt's 2016 rice paddy production is estimated at 5.1 million metric tonnes versus annual consumption of about 3.95 million tonnes, a United States Department of Agriculture report in October stated. In March, the government reached an agreement with private rice mills to produce white rice, potentially ending a standoff over the buying price of last year's crop that has led to millions of tonnes of paddy sitting idle since the harvest. The supply ministry said at the time it had agreed to pay private mills 6.3 Egyptian pounds ($0.3784) per kilogram of white rice, which the government would then sell at its outlets for 6.5 Egyptian pounds. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; writing by Amina Ismail. Editing by Jane Merriman)
     
  • Asia Rice-Prices rise in India, stable in Vietnam

  • Rice export prices extended its upward trend in India on a stronger rupee, while Vietnam rates were stable amid a subtle market on low demand, traders said on Thursday. India's 5 percent broken parboiled rice prices RI-INBKN5-P1 rose by $7 per tonne to between $382 and $387 a tonne this week, as gains in the rupee forced exporters to raise prices despite sluggish demand. "Export demand is very weak, but we have to raise prices to offset the impact of a strong rupee," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. The rupee has risen 5.6 percent so far this year, and is trading near its highest level in 20 months. A strong rupee trims returns of exporters. "In local market, paddy supplies are falling from summer-sown crop. In the next few weeks, winter crop will start arriving and local prices may soften," said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm. India, the world's biggest rice exporter, mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to the Middle East. Its rice output could rise by 4.3 percent to a record high of 108.86 million tonnes in 2016/17. Meanwhile in Vietnam, the world's third-largest rice exporter, market was quiet on low demand and unattractive rice prices amid worries over rainfall affecting grain quality. "Abnormal rain in some harvesting areas has affected rice quality, but not too seriously," said a Ho Chi Minh-based trader. Prices of the 5 percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 stayed nearly unchanged at $350-$355 a tonne free-on-board (FOB) Saigon, which was less competitive than Thai prices, traders said. Vietnam's rice exports are expected to plunge 23.9 percent annually to 1.19 million tonnes in the first quarter, after the grain shipments dropped 26.5 percent in 2016 due to lower output caused by climate changes, the government said. Thai benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 was quoted at $350-$365 a tonne free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok on Wednesday. Thai's rice market is closed for a national holiday on Thursday. (Reporting by My Pham in Hanoi and Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI; Additional reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat in BANGKOK; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)