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India rice rates ease on falling rupee, demand; Thai harvest to augment supply
Jan 04, 2019

 Rice export prices in India eased from a four-month high this week due to a depreciation of the rupee and sluggish demand, while Thai traders expect prices to drop over the coming weeks as supplies start to arrive from the new season crop amid flat demand.
India's 5 percent broken parboiled variety was quoted around $376-$383 per tonne this week, compared with $378-$384 last week.
Prices are moderating due to a weak rupee but still demand from African countries is weak, said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
The rupee fell to a two-week low on Thursday, increasing exporters' margin from overseas sales.
Export prices in India shot up in the second half of last month after the central state of Chhattisgarh, a leading rice producer, raised the minimum paddy buying price.
In neighbouring Bangladesh, rice imports slowed to 106,000 tonnes in July-December due to the imposition of a tax in June, data from the food ministry showed. The country imported a record 3.9 million tonnes of rice in the last financial year that ended in June 2018.
The south Asian country, which emerged as a major importer of the grain in 2017 after floods damaged crops, imposed a 28 percent duty to support its farmers after local production revived.
In Thailand, benchmark 5-percent broken rice was quoted at $380-$400 per tonne, free on board Bangkok, slightly widening from $380-$390 last week as the baht strengthened against the dollar.
Traders said demand for Thai rice had been flat this new year and that supplies from the new harvest would likely bring down prices over the next few weeks.
December to January is usually the rice harvest season in Thailand, but this time there has been some delay in harvesting in some parts of the country.
We are now expecting supply from the new harvest to enter the market in early February, so that could affect rice prices this month, a Bangkok-based trader said.
In Vietnam, rates for 5 percent broken rice fell to $370-$375 a tonne from $385 a week earlier due to weak demand.

Business Standard