Floods hamper harvest in major rice hubs, hit supply

Monday, 26 October 2020 00:41 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: Flooding slowed rice harvest in most Asian hubs last week, pushing up export prices for the Vietnamese variety and domestic rates in Bangladesh, while Thai traders warned of a risk to fresh supply. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice prices edged up to $485-$495 per ton on Thursday from $485-$490 in the previous  week.

“Recent rains in the Mekong Delta has hampered an ongoing harvest there, affecting domestic supplies,” said a trader in the Mekong province of An Giang.

Traders said that while demand has started to pick up, buyers from the Philippines haven’t returned. However, “rains have also affected quality of the autumn-winter harvest,” a trader said, adding that domestic prices of fresh paddy from flooded farms have fallen due to poor quality.

Thailand’s benchmark 5% broken rice prices fell to $435-$440 from $445-$480 from a week ago, with traders attributing the dip to low demand.

But floods in some rice growing provinces could hit fresh supply expected in the next week weeks, traders said.

Heavy rains damaged ripening crops in Bangladesh as well, with widespread flooding also causing a spike in domestic prices, despite a government move to set wholesale rates.

Floods have damaged crops worth $4.29 billion in the country, even as a decision on imports was still pending.

In top exporter India, weak demand and a depreciation in the rupee pulled down prices of 5% broken parboiled rice to $372-$377 per ton from previous week’s 376-$382.

“The flow of new orders has been moderating in last few days,” said an exporter at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

But India’s rice exports in 2020 might rise by nearly 42% from a year ago to a record 14 million tons because of reduced shipments from rival exporters and a weak rupee, industry officials said.