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Indian Rice Cheaper than Other Exporting Countries, Surging Freight Rates Propel Thai Prices to 2 Month Peak

27 Nov 2020 7:33 am
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Mumbai (Commodities Control) – Rice export prices in Thailand jumped to their highest in over two months this week on soaring container freight rates, while an appreciation in the rupee and improving demand buoyed prices for the staple in India.

Top exporter India's 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $372-$378 per tonne, up from last week's $366-$370.

"Demand is good for Indian rice since it is cheaper than other exporting countries," B.V. Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association (REA), said.

The rupee's appreciation has been forcing exporters to raise prices, said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

In Thailand, benchmark 5% broken rice prices rose to $480-$490 per tonne from $475-$485 a week earlier, on higher freight rates in a shipping boom.

Vietnam's 5% broken rice prices were unchanged from a week earlier at $495-$500 per tonne.

"Shipments to China and the Philippines are picking up, but demand from other markets such as Malaysia and Africa remained weak," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Traders said farmers in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam's largest rice growing area, had started sowing for the winter-spring crop, the largest of the year, a bit earlier to avoid a possible drought.

Bangladesh's rice output could fall 1% to 35.3 million tonnes in the current marketing year from a year earlier, mainly because of inclement weather, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said earlier this month.

Bangladesh has started importing rice after a three year gap, by issuing two tenders to import a total of 100,000 tonnes.

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