Asia Rice-Thai rates dip for 6th week as top hubs grapple with weak demand

* India rates steady as demand softens

* Prices for Vietnamese rice quoted at $470 a tonne

* India’s rice exports could jump to record this year - officials

Oct 8 (Reuters) - Rice export prices fell for a sixth straight week in Thailand, with fresh supply expected to bring down rates further this month, as subdued global demand crimped exports from most Asian hubs.

Thailand's benchmark 5 percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 prices eased slightly to $470-$475 per tonne from $472-$477 last week, with traders attributing the slight dip to fluctuation in the currency exchange amid relatively flat demand.

“There is still room for prices to go lower because the harvest volume should be bigger around the end of the month,” a trader in Bangkok said.

In top exporter India, prices remained steady due to softening demand after a surge in exports in the last few months.

Prices of the 5 percent broken parboiled variety RI-INBKN5-P1 were unchanged from last week, around $376-$382 per tonne.

“We could not lower prices despite ample crop due to the appreciating rupee,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

However, India’s rice exports in 2020 may rise by nearly 42%from a year ago to a record 14 million tonnes because of reduced shipments from rival exporters, industry officials said this week.

In Vietnam, rates for 5 percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 were quoted at $470 a tonne versus $460-$480 last week, as demand from Philippines remained weak.

“We have seen some buyers from the Philippines having shown interest, but most of them ended up only checking for prices,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Meanwhile, domestic prices of rice kept rising in Bangladesh which officials blamed on hoarding by middlemen, despite the government’s move to fix wholesale prices of the staple grain for the nation.

Stern action will be taken against those who are hoarding rice to create artificial crisis to make windfall profits, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Khanh Vu in Hanoi, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai, Ruma Paul in Dhaka, and Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)