Global rice prices jump on rising demand

Global demand for rice is up as are prices of the grain after the Philippines completed a tender for 250,000 tons, the Vietnam Food Association said.

Rice being loaded for export to Malaysia (Photo: SGGP)

Speaking to the media in Ho Chi Minh City on November 10, Nguyen Tho Tri, its vice chairman, said world rice prices have soared, with 5 percent broken rice increasing from US$380 a ton to $470, and 25 percent broken rice from $350 to $430.
The Philippines is set to invite bids for a further 600,000 tons of 25 percent broken rice in early December. The winning price is forecast to be around $540.
Two markets that will affect the rice market strongly until next year are the Phillipines and India.
The former has suffered massive losses from two recent typhoons, with 500,000 hectares of paddy being destroyed and nearly 840,000 tons of rice being swept away on Luzon Island, the country’s rice basket.
More storms are forecast to hit and affect rice output, forcing the Philippines to import 2.5-3 million tons in 2010.
In India, rice production is estimated to fall by 17 million tons this year first due to drought and then floods and the country may have to resort to imports.
The Indian Government has abolished duties to clear the way for imports of an estimated three million tons.
Vietnam is also likely to export 1.2 million tons of rice to Africa next year.
Mr.Tri dismissed the possibility of a domestic price surge like in 2008, saying the country has massive rice stocks of around 1.8 million tons and official agencies are keeping a close eye on the market.       

Snapshot of Vietnam’s rice exports in 2009
- Rice exported: 5.425 million tons worth US$2.42 billion (CIF price)

- Average export price: $404.43 per ton.

- Rice contracted to export: 6.453 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 55.3 percent, 350,000 tons of which to be delivered in 2010.

- Rice stock in October: 1,742,843 tons.

By Cong Phien – Translated by Hoang Yen

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