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Asia rice: India rates spring to record highs on dwindling supplies, firm demand

Rates of parboiled rice exported from top hub India advanced to record highs this week on limited supplies and steady demand from Asian and African buyers, while prices eased in Vietnam and Thailand.

India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at record $533-$542 per ton this week, up from last week’s $525-$535.

“Supplies in the market are limited since the government’s paddy buying is leaving little for private players. Additionally, rice milling of the new season crop is currently underway, further reducing the availability of milled rice,” said Nitin Gupta, senior vice president of Olam Agri India.

India’s rice output is expected to drop this fiscal year for the first time in eight years, raising the prospect of New Delhi extending curbs on exports of the grain to control food prices in the lead-up to elections.

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $630 per metric ton, down from $653 per ton a week ago.

Asia rice: Waning supplies prop up India rates to 4-month peak, Thai prices rise

Traders noted that domestic supplies are accumulating, and that harvest has begun partially in the Mekong Delta, which is expected to peak in March.

“Trading activity is slow as buyers are waiting for prices to fall further in anticipation of stronger supplies from the upcoming winter-spring harvest,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices was quoted at $663-$665 per ton, down slightly from $665 last week.

Prices softened due a weakening baht, said a Bangkok-based trader.

However, there was domestic activity and a fresh order for 0.5 million tonnes from Indonesia, which helped buoy prices, he added.

Rice prices in Bangladesh stayed elevated after a sharp rise last week despite good yields and record reserves, prompting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to issue orders for immediate action against rice hoarders.

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Published Date: January 25, 2024

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