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ASIA RICE-India prices tick up, Bangladesh reels from cyclone hit

Oct 27 (Reuters) – Prices of rice from top exporter India edged up this week on an uptick in the rupee and supply concerns, while a cyclone destroyed crops in Bangladesh at a time when it was already struggling to tame high local rates for the staple. INR=IN

India’s 5% broken parboiled variety RI-INBKN5-P1 was quoted at $375-$384 per tonne, down from $374-$382 last week.

The size of the Indian crop would be lower than earlier expectations as rainfall has damaged paddy in northern and north-eastern states, said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Heavy rainfall damaged crops just before harvest in key producing states such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh earlier this month.

Neighbouring country Bangladesh, meanwhile, was grappling with the aftermath of cyclone Sitrang, which struck on Monday.

The storm destroyed rice crops on 6,000 hectares, according to preliminary estimates from the agriculture ministry, in a likely blow to the country, which has been trying to bring down elevated domestic prices after floods earlier this year destroyed 254,000 tonnes.

Prices of Vietnam’s 5% broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 were unchanged at $425-$430 per tonne free-on-board.

“Farmers are making profit from the current price, and this will encourage them to invest more in the upcoming winter-spring crop, the largest of the year,” a trader in Ho Chi Minh City said.

The government on Wednesday forecast Vietnam’s rice exports in the first 10 months of the year at 6.07 million tonnes, up 17.2% from last year. October exports were forecast at 700,000 tonnes.

Preliminary shipping data showed 387,050 tonnes to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port during Oct. 1-28, with most of it heading to the Philippines, Africa, Cuba and Bangladesh.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices RI-THBKN5-P1 were also little changed at $405 per tonnes.

Traders said demand was flat with no major deals in the market.