Indian rice export price drops as supply rises

Photo: Collected

India’s rice export price fell this week as supplies increased following the extension of a government program to provide subsidized grain, while rates in Vietnam and Thailand were mostly flat in a context of weaker demand and rising production. The 5% broken parboiled variety from India, the top exporter, was priced between $365 and $369 a tonne this week, down from $367 to $370 last week. “On the open market, supplies have improved as the government has started distributing free rice and wheat to the poor. Local prices are under pressure,” said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern state of ‘Andhra Pradesh. Prices for 5% broken rice in Thailand were quoted between $408 and $412 a ton, not far off last week’s $408 and $410. Traders said there had been a slight increase in demand, but not enough to impact prices, as shipping and logistics costs fell slightly, “perhaps due to stabilization after the initial shock of war in Europe”. More rice from recent harvests is also entering the market, traders added. There is also a constant demand for animal feed in the international and domestic market, said a rice trader. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered on Thursday between $400 and $415 a ton, unchanged from a week ago. “Supplies are piling up, but export activity is quiet as shipping costs are very high,” said a Ho Chi Minh City-based trader. Farmers in the Mekong Delta harvested about 75 percent of the winter-spring crop, the biggest crop of the year, traders said. Vietnam exported 1.5 million tons of rice worth $731 million in the first quarter of this year, up 26.3 percent in volume and 12.9 percent in value year on year, according to government data released Thursday. Meanwhile, domestic rice prices in Bangladesh remain high despite good harvests, while the government has offered subsidized grain to the poor. Source: The Economic Times.

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