Rice prices jump in India; Bangladesh eyes import deal with Myanmar

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Rice prices in top exporter India rebounded this week, boosted by steady demand from Bangladesh which has been actively exploring fresh import deals with its neighbors and is looking to wrap up a major purchase from Myanmar.

A Bangladeshi government delegation is in Myanmar to finalize a state-to-state deal, government officials said on Thursday.

“We will import up to 300,000 tonnes of rice from them, depending on the rates and terms and conditions,” a food ministry official said.

This comes after Bangladesh finalised a deal to buy 250,000 tonnes of white rice at $453 a tonne from Cambodia, following a comparatively cheaper deal with Vietnam.

Bangladesh’s state grains buyer is also issuing a series of tenders as it looks to import 1.5 million tonnes of rice in the year to next June, with the latest tender closing on Sept. 12.

India’s 5 percent broken parboiled rice prices jumped this week by $10 per tonne to $410-$413 per tonne, buoyed by good demand from Bangladesh.

“Bangladesh has been seeking prompt shipments in the last few days. Only India can deliver supplies quickly and that’s why we’ve been receiving orders in the last few days,” said a Pune-based dealer with a trading firm. “Demand from other countries is weak.”

India’s non-basmati rice exports are likely to slow over the next few months as its shipments have become too expensive on the world market partly due to a rally in the rupee.

The Thai benchmark 5 percent broken rice was quoted at $380-$385 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, up from $370-$375 a tonne last week.

“A lot of the rice crops have already been harvested since last week. As for demand, it has increased slightly from rice exporters perhaps because their old stock has finished,” a Bangkok-based rice trader said.

Prices in Thailand are expected to climb slightly in the coming week due to overseas demand, and the general trend is likely to remain upward until the end of the year.

Supply will reduce during September and October due to a lack of new crops, traders said. Traders in Vietnam quoted the benchmark 5 percent broken rice at unchanged prices of $385-390 a tonne this week, FOB Saigon, as the market remained quiet.

“A recent deal with Iraq stood out and caught the attention of traders. Other than that, we had no new demands from major importers like Bangladesh, China or Philippines,” a trader in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Iraq’s state grains buyer will import about 60,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam at $590 a tonne in a direct deal, European traders said on Monday.

Source: Reuters