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Asian rice prices unchanged on thin trade
21 | 06 | 2007
Asian physical rice export prices were unchanged Thursday June 14 despite thin trade as high domestic prices in the Thailand and Vietnam kept offers from falling, exporters said.
In Thailand, only a few buyers were making inquiries in the market as current prices are at high levels, exporters said. "Some buyers could be waiting for prices to soften," one Bangkok-based exporter said.

The Thai government will likely carry out another round of its price intervention programme for the second crop, which will be harvested starting next month. However, it's is unlikely to hike its price-support rate, as prevailing prices are already at lofty levels. "There is no motivation for the government to raise support levels," a second exporter said. Exporters added any movement in prices in the near term will depend largely on the exchange rate.

Thai 100% grade B was offered unchanged Thursday June 14 at US$333-$337 a metric tonne, fob, Bangkok, 5% broken was at US$323-$327/tonne, while parboiled 100% sortexed was offered at US$326-$330/tonne.

In Vietnam, prices were unchanged Thursday June 14 on steady rice demand for shipment abroad. Exporters said fresh demand coming from the Philippines, involving 280,000 tonnes, could keep prices at high levels. The National Food Authority bought 280,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam Wednesday for shipment between June and August this year. Vietnam's 5% broken was offered unchanged Thursday June 14 at US$302/tonne, fob, HCM City, 10% broken was offered at US$295/tonne, while 25% broken was offered at US$290/tonne.

In other news, Thailand's rice exports from January 1 to June 7 rose by 9.2% on year to 3.45 million tonnes, the Commerce Ministry's Department of Foreign Trade said. Rice exports for June 1-7 totalled 144,380 tonnes, also up 9.2% on year. The Department of Foreign Trade didn't provide a reason for the increase in rice exports.

Meanwhile, global rice production in 2007-2008 is projected up marginally at 421 million tonnes, on a milled basis. Larger crops are forecast for Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and Thailand, the US Department of Agriculture said earlier in the week. Global consumption continues to outpace production and is expected to grow 5.5 million tonnes to 424 million. Consequently, ending stocks are expected to continue their downward trajectory, dropping almost 4 million tonnes to 72 million.


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