ASIA RICE Weak local currencies rein in India, Thai export rates

A worker collects boiled rice to spread it for drying at a rice mill on the outskirts of Kolkata, India, January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo
  • New Thai rice harvest expected later this month
  • Summer-sown rice planting up 3% y-o-y in Bangladesh- ministry
  • Vietnam supplies building up amid harvest in Mekong Delta
  • Rice purchases decent as other grains rally- Indian exporter

March 25 (Reuters) - Export prices of rice in top exporters India and Thailand fell this week on the back of a decline in domestic currencies, while traders awaited an upcoming harvest in Vietnam.

India's 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $367 to $370 per tonne, down from last week's $371 to $378, edging lower on a depreciation in the rupee amid steady demand from key buyers.

"Wheat, corn and other grains prices have rallied in the last few weeks. Comparatively, rice is stable, and that's why buyers are making decent purchases," said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh. read more

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A weaker rupee increases traders' margin from overseas sales.

Thailand's 5% broken rice prices fell to $408-$412 per tonne, from $410-$428 a week ago as the Thai baht declined against the dollar.

The weak baht is leading to competitive prices and boosting sales, with more than 7 million tonnes of rice this year to be exported, exceeding its target, as per the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

However, logistics remained a challenge with insufficient ships and high freight rates, a trader said.

A new Thai rice harvest is expected to enter the market later this month.

Vietnam's 5% broken rice was offered at $415-$420 per tonne, unchanged from a week ago.

While supplies are building up amid a harvest in the Mekong Delta, traders were buying from farmers to push domestic prices down, according to a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City.

Preliminary shipping data showed 232,000 tonnes of rice to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port in March, most of it heading to the Philippines and Africa.

In Bangladesh, farmers planted 4.9 million hectares with summer-sown rice this year, farm ministry data showed, up 3% from last year, encouraged by higher prices for the staple grain.

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Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru, Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok, Khanh Vu in Hanoi, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai and Ruma Paul in Dhaka; Additional reporting by Swati Verma; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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