World benchmark Thai rice prices fell back from near a record high on Wednesday while Vietnam reported a 6% increase in its main rice crop, further easing fears over supplies of Asia’s staple food.
News of a bumper winter-spring harvest and of a big jump in plantings for the summer-autumn crop in Vietnam, typically the world’s second largest exporter behind Thailand, added to expectations that Hanoi will end a months-long export ban on schedule from July, soothing anxious importers.
On Monday, Cambodia became the first exporter to lift trading curbs.
The perception of a looming increase in supplies helped drive Thailand’s benchmark 100% B grade white rice down more than 10% to $900-930 (about Rs38,600-39,900) per tonne on Wednesday, off the near record high $1,030-1,050 a tonne last week, traders said.
Export bans earlier this year by Cambodia, Vietnam and India had triggered a wave of panic buying by importers, driving prices up nearly threefold since January.