Export prices for rice from Vietnam hit their lowest level in more than three months due to weak demand, while rates in other Asian hubs held steady this week. Rates for Vietnam’s 5% broken rice variety RI-VNBKN5-P1 slipped to $400-$410 per tonne, the lowest since Sept. 9, from $410-$414 per tonne last week. Demand is weaker and this year’s total rice exports may be just around six million tonnes, down from a previous forecast of 6.2-6.5 million tonnes. Moreover, the country’s November rice exports were down 8.4% from the previous month at 566,358 tonnes, official customs data showed. Exports in the first 11 months of this year rose 0.8% year-on-year to 5.7 million tonnes.
Thailand’s 5% broken rice export prices RI-THBKN5-P1 were unchanged at $385-$396 per tonne, tracking muted moves in the baht versus the U.S. dollar THB=TH. Bangkok-based traders said the overseas market remained quiet towards the end of the year, as expected. Prices of the staple from top exporters India held at their lowest since December 2016, pressured by a depreciating rupee amid thin demand. India’s 5% broken parboiled variety RI-INBKN5-P1 was quoted at $351 to $356 per tonne, unchanged from last week. Buyers are expecting a further fall in prices as new season supplies have started.
Meanwhile, domestic rates for rice in neighbouring Bangladesh, traditionally the world’s third-biggest rice producer which emerged as a major buyer after flood depleted stocks, remained high despite hefty imports, hitting consumers. Bangladesh has been importing mostly from India through land ports. However, the country’s rice output could fall to 35.5 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year, down 0.8 million tonnes from the previous year, the United States Department of Agriculture said in its latest forecast.