* Thai prices up following govt-to-govt deal with China
* Prices flat in India as demand stalls
* Slow market in Vietnam cuts prices
By Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Rajendra Jadhav
BANGKOK/MUMBAI, Feb 16 Rice prices in Thailand
advanced this week following a deal with the Chinese government,
while markets slowed in India and Vietnam, traders said on
In Thailand, the world's second biggest rice exporter,
benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 edged up to
$357-$360 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, from $355-$360
"Prices went up on news of a government to government deal
between Thailand and China," a trader in Bangkok said, adding
there was no other demand from foreign buyers at the moment.
COFCO, China's state-owned food processing holding company,
will buy 100,000 tonnes of Thai rice, local media reported on
A rising Thai baht against the dollar also contributed to
higher prices, another trader said, adding this could lead to an
increase in demand in the coming days.
"Some buyers might be afraid of prices going up higher," he
Thailand was able to export 1.6 million tonnes of rice this
year up until Feb. 14, a 9.9 percent increase from the same
period last year, according to data from the commerce ministry,
with the exports worth 23.87 billion baht ($682.39 million).
Prices of 5-percent broken parboiled rice at top exporter
India were steady this week at $376-$381 per tonne on thin
"Demand has been falling due to higher prices. The gap
between Indian and Thai prices is very big right now," said an
exporter based out of Kakinada in the southern Indian state of
Along with exporters, government agencies are actively
buying paddy for the public distribution system, pushing up
prices above the minimum purchase price, exporters said.
The country's rice production in 2016/17 is likely to rise
by 4.3 percent to a record high 108.86 million tonnes, the
country's farm ministry said on Wednesday.
Vietnam's 5 percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 prices
dropped to $345-$350 a tonne, FOB Saigon, from $352-$355 last
Traders were waiting for prices to fall further due to the
harvest season later this month or early next month.
"Market won't be really vivid until mid-March when it enters
harvest season and traders know more about the grain quality,"
said a Ho Chi Minh-based trader.
Rice exports in Vietnam, the world's third biggest exporter
of the grain, declined 13.5 percent from a year earlier to
337,200 tonnes in January, customs data showed.
($1 = 34.98 baht)
(Additional reporting by My Pham in HANOI; Editing by Biju