DHAKA/MUMBAI/BANGKOK/HANOI: Rice export prices from top exporter India edged higher this week as inadequate rainfall in key growing regions raised concerns over supply.
India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $364 to $370 per tonne, up from last week’s $362-$368, also taking cues from an appreciation in the rupee.
Indian farmers have planted 23.16 million hectares with the grain so far this season, farm ministry data showed last week, down 13.2% from the same period last year due to scanty rainfall.
“Market has been trying to adjust to potential loss in the production. We don’t know how big it would be,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, output from neighbouring Bangladesh, which has been trying to shore up stocks depleted by flooding, could fall 1% to 35.6 million tonnes in the year to April from the corresponding period last year, the US Department of Agriculture said in its latest report.
This shortfall could further hinder the country’s attempts to rein in a surge in domestic prices, with a recent plan to allow private traders to import rice especially from India, failing to attract many takers due to the local currency’s depreciation against the dollar.
Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices rose to $412-$425 per tonne from $400 last week, attributed to higher (free-on-board) FOB rates amid a pickup in demand. New supply is expected next week, a Bangkok-based trader said. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $395-$400 per tonne, versus last week’s $395-$413.
“Trading activity remains quiet as Vietnamese prices remain higher than those of other exporting countries,” a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader said. Preliminary data showed 134,250 tonnes of rice to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port in the first half of August, with most of it heading to the Philippines and Africa.