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Vietnam rice export price hit 9 years peak, Thailand rates dip

January 04, 2021 | 13:58

Vietnamese rice export prices reached a fresh nine-year high this week thanks to dwindling supplies and continued Philippine buying

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Vietnam’s rice exports in 2020 were forecast to have fallen 3.5 percent to 6.15 million tonnes. (Photo: VN Express)

Vietnam's 5 percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 prices edged up to $500-$505 per tonne on Thursday – the highest since December 2011 – from $500 a week ago, on thin domestic supplies. Vietnam’s rice exports in 2020 were forecast to have fallen 3.5 percent to 6.15 million tonnes, according to preliminary data from the government. Rice export revenue this year climbed 9.3 percent to $3.07 billion, according to VN Express.

“Demand for Vietnamese rice remains weak, but prices of the summer-autumn harvest have edged up because persistent rain in the Mekong Delta has slowed down the harvest,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City told Reuters, adding that rain is forecast to subside from mid-July which would lead to better rice quality.

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Demand for Vietnamese rice remains weak, but prices of the summer-autumn harvest have edged up because persistent rain in the Mekong Delta has slowed down the harvest. (Photo: VN Express)

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development, rice exports of Vietnam to African nations have been on the rise and the upward trend may continue in the next year. The Asia-African Market Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade has joined hands with trade offices to arrange webinars introducing the potential of the African and Middle East markets, which drew hundreds of Vietnamese firms. The Vietnam Trade Office is keeping a close eye on adjustments in trade policies and rice import demand in the region, as well as import and payment regulations, especially in the context of COVID-19, to promptly inform businesses.

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Rice exports of Vietnam to African nations have been on the rise and the upward trend may continue in the next year. (Photo: VTV)

Meanwhile, Thailand's benchmark 5 percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 prices were quoted at $510-$516 per tonne on Thursday, slightly lower than $516-$520 per tonne quoted last week. Traders said demand for Thai rice has been relatively flat due to high prices. "The supply level has been quite low so that drove up the price and the strong baht does not help the situation as demand is already weak," a Bangkok-based trader said.

In top rice exporter India, the 5 percent broken parboiled variety RI-INBKN5-P1 was quoted at $381-$387 per tonne this week, unchanged from last week, as firm demand from Asian and African countries persisted. Bangladesh’s food minister said the country is slashing its rice import duty to 25 percent from 62.5 percent and allowing private traders to import rice up to a certain level, aiming to bolster reserves and dent record prices. The government is also finalizing a purchase of 150,000 tonnes of rice from India’s NAFED, the New Delhi-based state agency, officials told Reuters.

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Valerie Mai