In Vietnam, the world’s third largest rice exporter, the 5-percent broken rice prices rose to $350-$355 a tonne, from $345-$350 a tonne a week earlier while the local prices have risen even stronger, traders said. While prices in Vietnam rose with some traders speeding up purchases to complete their signed February export orders amid thin supplies, Indian rice prices fell as overseas demand waned. India’s 5-percent broken parboiled rice prices edged down by $3 per tonne this week to $373 to $378 per tonne as exports slowed down after weeks of strong demand.
An exporter based at Kakinada in southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh said, “African buyers are reducing purchases after buying actively in the last few weeks and prices rose sharply in the last one month compared to prices in Thailand and Vietnam.” India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, is likely to produce a record high 108.86 million tonnes of rice in the 2016/2017 crop year, according to the farm ministry. “The downside in Indian export prices is limited. Rupee has been appreciating consistently in last few weeks and slashing exporters’ margin,” said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm. By December estimates of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, India’s 2016 exports of the grain fell 10 percent annually to 10.1 million tonnes. India mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to the Middle East. Meanwhile a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader said, “Harvest has started but has been only a little, while some traders are willing to pay a higher price to complete their previously signed Philippine contracts.” Prices rose on expectations of potential orders from the Philippines, but could fall in the next two weeks when Vietnam fully enters the main harvest season and lasting until end-March, said another Vietnamese trader.
A Bangkok-based trader said that next week’s prices should remain steady around the current range of around $350-$355 a tonne for the 5-percent broken rice, free-on-board Bangkok, which is normal for the market at around this time of the year. The new crops will come into play around March and the government has closed bidding on rice in its stockpile, he added. A per the Ministry the country exported 1.6 million tonnes of rice during Jan. 1- Feb. 14, up 9.9 percent annually. Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce has set a target to offload its 8-million tonnes of stockpile by the end of the year.