Indian rice rates gain on fresh Chinese, African orders

By Anjishnu Mondal
·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: A woman carrying a basket walks through a rice field in south Kashmir's Tral town

By Anjishnu Mondal

(Reuters) - Indian rice export prices rose this week as China started purchases for the first time in about three decades and on better demand from Africa, while concerns over supply propelled Thai rates to an about three-month peak.

China is set to import 100,000 tonnes of broken rice from India on a free-on-board (FOB) basis due to tightening supplies from Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam and an offer of sharply discounted prices.

Top exporter India's 5 percent broken parboiled variety rose to $375-$381 per tonne from $372-$378 last week.

"Demand is good but logistical bottlenecks at the ports are limiting shipments," said Himanshu Agarwal, executive director at Satyam Balajee, India's biggest rice exporter.

India's exports in January-October jumped 43% from a year ago to 11.95 million tonnes as buyers purchased lower-priced Indian rice to rebuild stocks after droughts hit shipments from rival exporters.

Bangladesh will also buy 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice from India at $416 per tonne through its first purchase tender in three years, officials said.

The lowest offer in its second tender to purchase a similar volume was estimated at $404.35 a tonne, traders said in initial assessments.

Thailand's benchmark 5% broken rice prices rose to $480-$516 from $480-$490 a week earlier.

Harvest was stalled and rice millers were holding on to existing stocks, tightening supply and pushing up prices, Bangkok-based traders said.

Vietnam's 5% broken rice prices fell to $470-$490 per tonne on Thursday from $495-$500 a week ago on weak demand.

"Trade has stood still recently as traders are waiting for the outcome of the ongoing 12th online World Rice Conference," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

"We expect prices to stay little changed until next year when the Philippines is expected to buy more rice from Vietnam following recent flooding in the country."

(Reporting by Khanh Vu in Hanoi, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai, Ruma Paul in Dhaka, Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok; Editing by Arpan Varghese and Shailesh Kuber)