Prices jump across major hubs on higher demand for rice

Prices of rice exported from top Asian hubs jumped this week on solid demand, while Vietnamese traders also flagged high shipping costs due to the Ukraine crisis.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices rose to $ 415- $ 428 per tonne, on average a peak since late June, from $ 400- $ 403 a week ago.

As corn and wheat prices rise, animal feed makers were looking to use more broken rice, pushing up prices across the board, Bangkok-based traders said.

Another trader said he recently received interest from buyers in Europe, the United States, Iraq and Iran for different grades of Thai white rice.

Demand from Hong Kong has also increased, the trader said, with concerns over plans for a city-wide lockdown sparking panic buying by residents.

Thailand exported 459,752 tonnes of rice worth $ 234 million in January, up 8.92% from the same period last year, the commerce ministry said.

Rates for top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety rose to $ 371- $ 378 per tonne from last week’s $ 370- $ 376, also a peak since mid-June.

“Consumers are trying to build stockpile due to the rally in wheat and corn prices. Demand is improving for rice,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice prices rose to their highest since December at $ 410- $ 415 per tonne on Thursday, versus $ 400 last week, amid higher demand, traders said, with the Ukraine-Russia conflict prompting buyers to place more orders from elsewhere in Asia.

Another trader said shipping costs had surged since the Ukraine-Russia conflict began, with international freight costs rising 50% and domestic freight costs climbing 70% -80%.

“We’re concerned costs will keep rising if the conflict continues,” the trader said. Traders said farmers in the Mekong Delta had harvested 20% -25% of the winter-spring crop.

Domestic rice prices in Bangladesh remain high despite good crops and reserves, traders said, adding that the global market was seeing a hike due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

“It is very much unlikely that local prices will come down soon,” a trader said.

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