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Asia Rice: Slow demand weighs on top exporters; Bangladesh scraps Thai deal

Reuters  |  BENGALURU 

By Koustav Samanta

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Rice prices in and fell this week, pressured by sluggish overseas demand, while scrapped a plan to import Thai rice, citing delays in finalising a deal.

In India, prices for 5 percent broken parboiled rice fell by $12 to $420-$424 a tonne, having touched their highest since September 2011 a couple of weeks earlier.

"Demand is weak. Buyers are postponing purchases, expecting a further drop in prices," said an exporter based in in the southern state of

A statement released by a government body last week said that India's April-December non-basmati rice exports had jumped by 39.5 percent from a year ago to 6.34 million tonnes as and increased purchases.

Bangladesh, which has emerged as a major importer of rice since 2017 after floods damaged its crops, scrapped a plan to import 150,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand, agreed at $465 a tonne in October.

"We had to cancel it as they were taking too long to finalise the deal.

We're getting supplies from neighbouring ... At the same time, we are getting good response in our local procurement drive," Badrul Hasan, of the state grains buyer, told

Meanwhile, Thailand's benchmark 5 percent broken rice rates fell to $400-$419 a tonne, free on board (FOB) Bangkok, compared with $420-$430 last week.

"Many exporters are waiting on big markets like Indonesia, Philippines, and China, but so far there are no fresh bids," one Bangkok-based rice said.

"Prices did not fluctuate much this week because many rice mills are closed due to the Chinese New Year," he added.

The Lunar New Year is not an in Thailand, but many businesses close for the occasion.

The exchange rate, with a firmer baht, is another important factor behind the slump in demand, another said.

In Vietnam, the world's third-largest rice exporter, financial markets are closed for the Feb. 14-20 Lunar New Year holiday.

(Reporting by in Mumbai, Panu Wongcha-um in and Ruma Paul in Dhaka; Editing by David Goodman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 18:43 IST
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