Asia Rice: Thai Prices Gain on Talks of Philippine Demand


Thai rice export prices rose this week on talks of possible demand from private Philippine firms, while prices in Vietnam hit seven-week lows due to thin demand, traders said on Wednesday (23/11).

Rice sales by Thailand and Vietnam, the world's second- and third-largest exporters after India, have been slow in the past month, due in part to sufficient stocks in importing nations.

Thai benchmark 5-percent broken rice prices rose to $350-$359 a tonne on Wednesday, on free-on-board (FOB) basis, from $342-$345 a tonne a week ago.

There were some market talks last week that private Philippine firms would buy Thai rice, so prices went up, a Bangkok-based trader said. "It's all talk but no action, so the market has been quiet now," he added.

The Vietnamese market was subdued as buyers kept to the sidelines even though exporters have lowered quotations, traders said.

The 5-percent broken rice price eased to $340-$350 a tonne at FOB Saigon Port, from $347-$350 a week ago. At $340 a tonne, the price was the lowest since Oct. 5, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"Thailand has ample stocks and prices are competitive," a trader in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Vietnam's rice exports between Jan. 1 and Nov. 15 fell 24.7 percent from a year earlier to an estimated 4.36 million tonnes, Vietnam Customs said.

Asian rice prices will remain weak in early 2017 as production in importing nations has been recovering, BMI Research said.

"Import demand will decline in 2017 as some of the largest traditional importers, including the Philippines and Indonesia, will see their domestic supply pick up in 2016/17," it said in a report on Nov. 18.

The Philippines hopes to limit rice imports to 500,000 tonnes next year, its agriculture minister said on Tuesday, as the government of President Rodrigo Duterte aims to be self-sufficient in rice production by 2020.


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