“Demand is there but supplies are also ample. Many buyers are looking for 100 per cent broken rice to replace expensive corn in animal feed,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Indian rupee INR=IN plunged to a record last week against the dollar, increasing exporters margin from overseas sales.

Rice prices in neighbouring Bangladesh rose again this week, despite good stocks, which traders blame on the rise in global markets.

“We’re hearing India could restrict rice exports. Prices will go up again if they do so,” a Dhaka-based trader said.

Thailand’s 5 per cent broken rice prices were quoted at $450 per tonne, up from $430-$445 last week, on strengthening of the domestic currency and rising cost of production.

“Supply remains ample, but rice prices have gone up due to higher prices of fertilisers,” a Bangkok-based trader said.

Demand has been muted in the past several weeks as higher prices have deterred potential buyers, another trader said.

Vietnam’s 5 per cent broken rice was offered at $415-$420 per tonne on Thursday, unchanged from a week ago.

“The Philippines will continue to be Vietnam’s largest export market, but shipments to the European Union are expected to witness the fastest growth backed by the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Preliminary shipping data showed 369,882 tonnes of rice is to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port from 1 to 28 May, with most of the rice heading to the Philippines, Africa and Cuba.

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