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ASIA RICE-India rates ease on soft demand, cyclone hits port operations

08 December 2023

Dec 7 (Reuters) - Prices of parboiled rice exported from top hub India edged lower this week as demand slowed even as the top exporter took stock of disruptions to a key port from a cyclone, while high rates kept buyers at bay in Thailand and Vietnam.

India's 5% broken parboiled variety RI-INBKN5-P1 fell to between $497 and $505 per metric ton from $500-$507 last week as buyers took a pause after having made a decent amount of purchases in recent weeks.

Loading operations at the Kakinada port in Andhra Pradesh were disrupted after Cyclone Michaung barreled into the southern Indian coast on Tuesday, also affecting rice milling in the state, said an exporter based in the city of Raipur in Central India.

Officials were assessing the damage from the storm that killed at least 13 people and brought torrential rains and flooding to several areas in the region.

Vietnam's 5% broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 was offered at $655-$665 per metric ton on Thursday, unchanged from a week ago, traders said.

"Trading activity is quiet, as prices are too high for some buyers," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

"But I don't think prices will fall anytime soon due to tight supplies and high domestic prices of paddy."

Preliminary shipping data showed 82,900 tons of rice to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port in the Dec. 1-30 period, with most of it heading to the Philippines.

Thailand's 5% broken rice prices RI-THBKN5-P1 softened slightly to $620-$625 per metric ton versus the $630 quoted last week as demand shifted to other Southeast Asian countries.

At least one Bangkok-based trader expects additional supply in the first quarter of the next year due to the off-season harvest.

Another trader said rice mills were still holding off purchases, anticipating a further rise in prices, and expects these levels to hold until the end of the year.

(Reporting by Hissay Ongmu Bhutia in Bengaluru, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai, Khanh Vu in Hanoi and Chayut Setboonsarng in Bangkok; Editing by Arpan Varghese and Tasim Zahid)

Source : nasdaq