High shipping costs dent Vietnam’s rice prices

Rice export prices from Vietnam this week dipped slightly on rising shipping costs, while prices of rice exported from other major Asian hubs held steady.

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice prices were offered at $570-$575 per metric ton on Thursday, down from a range of $575-$580 a week ago, traders said.

Rising shipping cost, both domestically and internationally, is impacting rice shipments, a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said, without elaborating.

Another trader in the city said the Philippines’ move to lower its import tariff on rice will boost shipments of Vietnamese rice. For years, the Philippines has been Vietnam’s largest rice export market.

Vietnam’s rice exports in May fell 14.6% from April to 856,000 tons, according to the government’s customs data. For the first five months of this year, the country’s rice exports rose 11.2% from a year earlier to 4.02 million tons.

Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $539-$546 per ton this week, unchanged from the last week.

“African buyers are continuously making purchases. The depreciation of the rupee is allowing exporters to absorb rising local prices because of falling supplies,” a Mumbai-based trader said.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice was quoted at $630 per ton, unchanged from last week.

Demand continues to come in from regular customers in Indonesia and the Philippines, said a Bangkok-based trader, adding that new demand and additional crops would come in July.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh plans to import 400,000 tons of rice in 2024 as the government struggles to control staple grain prices for the nation, food secretary Ismail Hossain said. — Reuters