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|11 October, 2018

Asia Rice - India prices slip for 3rd straight week on slow demand

Bangladesh imports slow due to tax

Image used for illustrative purpose

Image used for illustrative purpose

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BENGALURU - Rice export prices in India eased for a third consecutive week due to waning demand and prospects of fresh supplies, while markets in Thailand and Vietnam were propped up by expectations of orders from China and Philippines.

Rates for top exporter India's 5 percent broken parboiled variety fell to $365-$370 per tonne from $367-$373 last week, as demand remained tepid, traders and dealers said.

"As prices are falling every week, buyers are postponing purchases," said an exporter based in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

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Also weighing on prices, was a plunge in the Indian rupee to a lifetime low on Thursday, allowing exporters to lower their offers.

Supplies from summer-sown crop will become available for exports from the next month, dealers said.

The country's production of summer-sown rice is estimated to grow 1.8 percent to 99.24 million tonnes.

In neighbouring Bangladesh, imports slowed down to 80,000 tonnes in July-September owing to the imposition of a tax on rice imports in June, the country's food ministry data showed.

The south Asian country, which emerged as a major importer in 2017 after floods damaged crops, imposed the 28 percent duty to support its farmers after local production revived.

In Thailand, benchmark 5 percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 prices were quoted at $398-$400 per tonne, free on board (FOB) Bangkok, versus $390–$403 last week.

Traders said activity was muted, despite speculation of new deals with countries including Indonesia, Japan, and Philippines.

Many Thai private exporters who have been involved in a recent sale of 100,000 tonnes of rice to China are also speculating that China may purchase more Thai rice before year end, said a trader in Bangkok.

"There are talks that the Chinese may order more rice and that could help drive up the price before the end of the year."

In Vietnam, rates for 5 percent broken rice were unchanged from last week at $400-$405 a tonne.

"Trade is slow as domestic supplies are running low," a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader said. "The Philippines has announced it will buy more rice for the rest of the year and that may be supportive for prices."

Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade said Thursday the value of the country's rice exports this year would likely rise 26.9 percent to $3.2 billion-$3.3 billion.

Customs data released this week showed Vietnam exported 4.89 million tonnes of rice in the January-September period, up 6.7 percent from a year earlier. Rice export revenue rose 21.3 percent in the period to $2.46 billion.

(Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok, Khanh Vu in Hanoi and Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai and Ruma Paul in Dhaka Editing by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru and Edmund Blair) ((Sumita.Layek@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 8067491638; Reuters Messaging: Sumita.Layek.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))