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Asia rice-Indian rates dip, Vietnam prices touch 5-month low

Friday, April 16, 2021, 12:07 GMT+7
Asia rice-Indian rates dip, Vietnam prices touch 5-month low
Farmers plant rice on a paddy field during early morning to avoid the heat in Hanoi, Vietnam June 25, 2020. Photo: Reuters

India's rice export rates dipped this week on a weaker rupee, with exporters worried that upcoming shipments could be impacted by a worsening coronavirus situation, while Vietnamese prices fell to a five-month low due to lower domestic crop quality.

Top exporter India's 5 percent broken parboiled variety fell to a near three-month low of $388 to $392 per metric ton, from last week's $390-$395.

The rupee fell to a nine-month trough this week, increasing traders' margin from overseas sales.

"Export demand is good, but shipments could get affected in the coming week if coronavirus cases continue to rise with the current pace," said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

India reported a record 200,739 COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, with business owners flagging disruptions to supply chains from restrictions imposed by states to curb the rapid surge.

In Bangladesh, domestic rice prices went up after it began a week-long lockdown on Wednesday as infections reached around 7,000 cases a day in the last two weeks, from below 300 in February.

"Lockdown is already killing us and the price hike will do the rest," said Mohammad Alam, a rickshaw puller in Dhaka.

Bangladesh, traditionally the world's third-biggest rice producer, has accelerated imports to recover depleted stocks.

Vietnam's 5% broken rice fell to $485-$495 per metric ton on Thursday, its lowest level since Dec. 10 last year, from a range of $495-$500 last week.

"Prices have fallen as the quality of winter-spring rice declines towards the end of the harvest," a trader based in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang said.

Exporters said they are focusing on fulfilling contracts signed earlier and are hesitant to sign new contracts due to high shipping costs.

Markets in Thailand were closed this week on account of the Thai New Year.

Reuters

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