August 24, 2017 / 10:44 AM / a year ago

Asia Rice -Prices fall in major exporters; Bangladesh to buy from Cambodia

HANOI, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Rice prices fell in India, Vietnam and Thailand on weak demand, traders said on Thursday, while Bangladesh is likely to spend more on importing rice as part of the government’s plan to cope with shortages.

India’s 5 percent broken parboiled rice prices RI-INBKN5-P1 eased by $4 per tonne to $403 to $406 per tonne.

“There wasn’t any improvement in demand this week. Buyers are delaying purchases expecting further drop in prices,” said an exporter in Andhra Pradesh.

India’s non-basmati rice exports could slow in the coming months as shipments have become too expensive on strong rupee and higher local paddy prices..

Prices also dropped in Vietnam as market was quiet, traders said. The benchmark 5 percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 fell to $385-$395 a tonne this week, FOB Saigon, down from $395-$405 last week.

Rice output in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta was affected as crop was submerged in flooding. Traders were however unable to estimate the loss.

Thailand’s rice prices dipped as demand has been flat in both domestic and international markets, Thai traders said.

Thai benchmark 5 percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 was quoted at $375-$377 a tonne, FOB Bangkok, down from $376-$382 a tonne last week.

“The weakening of the baht against the US dollar is also attributed to the drop in prices,” a trader in Bangkok said.

Rice production in Thailand’s north and northeast have been delayed due to flood in July, leading to more supply towards the end of the year, which could affect prices.

Rice exporters in Thailand are looking to meet fresh demand from markets like Bangladesh, while Dhaka is likely to buy from Cambodia.

Bangladesh’s food ministry said it would import 250,000 tonnes of white rice at $453 a tonne from Cambodia in a state-to-state deal, more expensive than a previous deal with Vietnam.

The country is building buffer stocks to combat high domestic prices after flash floods in April wiped away around 1 million tonnes of rice.

Prices have dropped only slightly in Bangladesh after it slashed the duty on imports last week to 2 percent from 10 percent, the second cut in less than two months.

“More rice from India is being imported by private traders after the second cut. This will have a good impact on the domestic market,” a food ministry official said. (Reporting by Mi Nguyen in Hanoi, Ruma Paul in Dhaka, Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok and Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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