Rice export prices in the top exporters of India and Thailand fell this week on the back of weak local currencies, while traders await the upcoming harvest in Vietnam.
The 5% broken variety in India was priced from $367 to $370 a ton, down from $371 last week to $378, and fell on the back of a weaker rupee amid steady demand from major buyers.
“The prices of wheat, maize and other grains have gone up in the past few weeks. In comparison, rice is stable, which is why buyers are making good purchases,” said a source in Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
A weak rupee increases traders’ margin from overseas sales.
Broken rice prices fell 5% in Thailand to $408-412 per ton, from $410 to $428 a week ago as the Thai baht fell against the dollar.
The weakening of the baht leads to competitive prices and increased sales, with more than 7 million tons of rice exported this year, well beyond its target, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.
However, logistics remained a challenge with insufficient vessels and high freight rates, a trader said.
A new Thai rice crop is expected to enter the market later this month.
5% broken rice was offered in Vietnam at $415-$420 per ton, unchanged from last week.
While supplies are booming amid the harvest season in the Mekong Delta, traders have been buying from farmers to drive down local prices, according to a Ho Chi Minh City-based dealer.
Preliminary shipping data showed that 232,000 tons of rice will be loaded at the Ho Chi Minh City port in March, most of it destined for the Philippines and Africa.
Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture data showed that farmers planted 4.9 million hectares of summer rice this year, 3% more than last year, driven by higher prices for the staple grain.
(Additional reporting by Sehir Daren in Bengaluru, Patpicha Tanakasimpipat in Bangkok, Khan Pho in Hanoi, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai and Ruma Paul in Dhaka; Additional reporting by Swati Verma; Editing by Shinjini Ganguly)
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