Asia Rice: Indian rates gain for third week; markets eye Philippine order

By Reuters   November 22, 2018 | 06:45 pm PT
Asia Rice: Indian rates gain for third week; markets eye Philippine order
Labourers remove dried grass from a rice field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, August 30, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Amit Dave
Rice export prices rose for a third straight week in India while an Philippine order did little to infuse activity in Thailand and Vietnam.

India’s 5 percent broken parboiled variety was quoted around $367-$375 per tonne this week, from $363-$371 the last week.

The top exporter’s rupee currency rose to its highest level in more than two months, trimming exporters’ margins.

"Paddy rice prices have jumped in Chhattisgarh and other neighbouring states and accordingly export prices are going up," said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

In July, the government raised prices paid to local farmers for common grade paddy rice by 13 percent from a year earlier to 1,750 rupees per 100 kg for the new season crop.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Bangladesh will procure 600,000 tons of rice at 36 taka ($0.40) per kg from local farmers in the current harvesting season to boost reserves, a food ministry official said.

In Vietnam, rates for 5 percent broken rice fell to about $410 a ton from $415-$420 last week.

"Though prices are lower, trade remains very quiet as domestic supplies are empty. Prices will fall further in the coming weeks, closer to the levels offered by Thailand and India," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

"The Tan Long Group offered 118,000 tonnes in a Philippines import tender for 500,000 tons earlier this week, but the firm hasn’t been seen buying rice from the local market, and it’s not clear where its source will be."

The Philippines is on a rice-buying spree this year in a bid to tame prices that surged as stocks at government warehouses nearly ran out.

Singapore-based commodity trader Olam International offered to supply the Philippines with 210,000 tons and Vietnam’s Tan Long Group Joint Stock Co offered 118,000 tons.

Traders said the Vietnamese market will remain quiet until early next year when supplies of the winter-spring crop become available.

Meanwhile in Thailand, benchmark 5 percent broken rice prices were quoted at $382-$395 per ton, free on board (FOB) Bangkok, narrowed from $380-$398 last week.

Thailand will only supply part of the Philippines deal so there has been no immediate impact yet, but there is a chance that domestic price could rise later this week because of it, a Bangkok-based rice trader said.

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