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Global Rice Price Rose Amid Pandemic

In view of the unpredictable duration of the impact of the global pandemic, changes in food production and international political and economic situations in various countries are unpredictable, and the risk of fluctuations in international rice prices has increased.

According to Reuters, the export price of Vietnamese rice soared last week to the highest level since December 2011, due to container shortages, rising freight rates and pushing up Thai rice prices to a four-month high. In addition, Indian rice has also risen due to strong demand. So far, rice price in the three largest rice exporting countries in the world have all begun to rise.


Indian rice prices rise

Indian rice prices rose last week. The price of parboiled rice with a crushing rate of 5% rose from US$378-383 a week ago to US$380-385/ton. Due to strong demand, the rupee soared to its highest level in the past two months.

An exporter stated that traditional buyers of Thai rice are turning to India because of its lower prices. There was a blockage in the port of Kakinada, and dozens of freighters lined up.

Thai rice prices rise to highest in nearly four months

The price of rice in Thailand rose last week, hitting the highest level in nearly four months because of concerns about supply and logistics. The price of rice with a crushing rate of 5% in Thailand rose to US$500-519, up from US$485-516 a week ago.

Bangkok traders said that the new rice is not yet on the market, and the existing supply may not be able to be shipped due to a shortage of containers. According to the Thai Rice Exporters Association, Thai rice exports from January to October 2020 fell to 4.49 million tons, a decrease of 31% year-on-year.

Vietnamese rice prices rise to 9-year high

Last week, the export price of Vietnamese rice rose sharply, reaching the highest level since December 2011. The shortage of containers caused a surge in freight rates. The quotation of Vietnamese rice with a crushing rate of 5% rose to US$500/ton, which is the highest level since December 2011, with the highest weekly increase of 6.4%.

A trader said that the shortage of containers makes it difficult for traders to ship rice to customers. For example, the freight rate for a 20-foot container in Africa has risen from US$1,500 a few months ago to US$5,000. It is estimated that Vietnam is unlikely to achieve this year's rice export target of 6.5 million tons (US Department of Agriculture estimated 6.3 million tons). According to customs data, Vietnam’s rice exports from January to November were 5.7 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 2.9%.