Rice export prices in India rose for a third straight week to its highest in more than two months due to an appreciation in the rupee and healthy demand from buyers in Asia and Africa.
Prices for the top exporter’s 5% broken parboiled variety rose to $378-$383 per tonne, their highest since the week of Sept. 24, from $375-$381 last week.
The appreciating rupee reduces traders’ margin from overseas sales and higher freight charges have been forcing exporters to hike prices, said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
“Demand is good. Buyers like China are switching to India due to lower prices,” the exporter said.
China will import 100,000 tonnes of broken rice from India due to dwindling supplies from Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Bangladesh will buy another 50,000 tonnes at $404.35 per tonne from India through a tender in an effort to shore up domestic reserves.
Vietnam’s 5% broken rice prices were unchanged at $470-$490 per tonne.
“Trading activity has been slow over the past week on weak demand,” said a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City.
“We expect exports will rise during the first quarter of next year on rising demand from the Philippines, Africa and China,” the trader noted.
Another trader said Vietnam and China are setting up a hotline to facilitate bilateral trade of agricultural products, including rice, following recent disruptions due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Vietnamese exporters are also seeking to boost exports of fragrant rice to the European Union after a free trade agreement took affect between Vietnam and the bloc in August, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s benchmark 5% broken rice prices rose to $485-$516 from $480-$516 last week due to tight supplies.
However, “demand has decreased because of higher prices,” a Bangkok-based trader said.