Asia Rice-Rice prices advance in India, Vietnam while Thai prices drop on weaker baht

By | March 11, 2017

Rice prices in India and Vietnam advanced while Thai prices dropped due to a weaker baht, traders said on Thursday.
In India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, 5-percent broken parboiled rice prices rose to $375-$380 per tonne from $373-$378 last week, as demand improved from African buyers.
“In last few days African buyers have become active,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
Another exporter in Kakinada said local buyers were also activate in the market.
“The competition between exporters and local buyers is keeping paddy prices firm,” he added.
Along with private buyers, government agencies are actively buying paddy for the public distribution system, pushing prices up above the minimum purchase price, exporters said.
The country’s rice production in 2016/17 is likely to rise by 4.3 percent to a record high 108.86 million tonnes, Farm Ministry said on Wednesday.
In Vietnam, the world’s third largest rice exporter, 5-percent broken rice prices rose to $355-$360 a tonne, from $350-$355 a tonne last week on thin supply near a new harvest season.
“Prices in Vietnam now are higher than other countries, keeping foreign importers from buying,” said a Ho Chi Minh-based trader.
He added that Vietnam’s market was quiet but will be more lively once the harvest season starts by the end of this month.
The harvest season will significantly raise supply, which in turn will ease prices.
In the world’s second biggest exporter, Thai benchmark 5-percent broken rice narrowed to $350-$355 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, from $350-$360 last week.
Traders said this was due to the Thai baht weakening against the U.S. dollar at 35.33 baht per $1, down from 34.98 baht per $1 last week.
“There isn’t much demand going on, and the baht is weaker,” a trader in Bangkok said.
Thailand sold 1.35 million tonnes of rice from state stockpiles in its first auction of the year worth $376 million on Tuesday.
It also said it will hold another auction for 3.66 million tonnes of spoiled rice for industrial use but did not say when.
Thailand has exported about 2 million tonnes of rice this year up until March 6, the ministry said, down 2.05 percent from the same period last year. ($1 = 35.33 baht)