ASIA RICE Thai rates rise on Middle Eastern demand

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  • Bangladesh government will buy rice from farmers for 40 taka/kilo
  • Vietnamese traders are waiting for prices to rise – trader
  • Thailand price at $432-$435/ton vs $410-$414 last week

April 28 (Reuters) – Prices for rice exported from Thailand rose this week on stronger demand from Middle Eastern markets, while Indian and Vietnamese rates were unchanged.

Prices for 5% broken rice in Thailand were quoted between $432 and $435 a ton, down from $410 and $414 last week.

“There has been an increase in demand from markets like Iraq and Iran and also due to improved relations with Saudi Arabia,” said a Bangkok-based trader.

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Freight costs, a major challenge for exporting Thai rice, were also avoided as buyers from the Middle East sent their own freight for rice purchases, traders said.

A weaker baht against the US dollar also helped rice prices rise this week, they added.

The 5% broken parboiled variety from India, the top exporter, was quoted between $361 and $365 a tonne, unchanged from last week.

“Domestic supplies are comfortable as the government distributes a lot of rice to the poor for free or at a nominal rate,” said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $415 a tonne on Thursday, unchanged from last week.

However, prices could rise in the coming weeks as supplies run out with the winter-spring harvest nearing completion, a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader said.

“Traders are hesitant to sign new export contracts, waiting for prices to rise,” the trader added.

Preliminary shipment data showed that 300,990 tons of rice were to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port in April and 40,000 tons in the first week of May, with most of the rice destined for the Philippines, to Africa and Cuba.

Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi government has raised the price it will pay farmers for the current season’s rice to 40 taka ($0.48) per kilogram from 36 taka a year ago, the official said. Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder.

The government will purchase a total of 1.8 million tonnes of summer rice and paddy variety from local farmers from May 7, he added. The move is crucial for the South Asian nation to feed its poor and maintain domestic price stability.

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Reporting by Roshan Abraham in Bengaluru, Khanh Vu in Hanoi, Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai, Ruma Paul in Dhaka; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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