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Iran, Iraq seek Thai rice
Rising demand for Thai rice, particularly from Iran and Iraq, is expected to push prices higher in the coming days, traders said.

Thai 100 per cent B grade rice was offered at $325 a tonne, free on board, last week.

'The market was quiet but prices were still firm because demand is expected to rise, especially from Iran,' a trader said.

Thailand's biggest rice exporter, president, said this week it was in talks to sell 120,000 tonnes of rice to Iran, which had bought 100,000 tonnes in May.

'If the deal is done, prices will rise,' another trader said.

Iran had bought around 500,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand so far this year and was expected to buy more in a bid to build up stocks in case the West imposed sanctions over its nuclear programme.

There was also market speculation that Iraq was seeking to buy more rice, traders said.

'I heard that Iraq would hold a tender in June to buy around 100,000 tonnes of rice from several international traders,' a Dubai-based trader said.

Iraq held a tender in May where it is believed to have bought 100,000 tonnes of 5 percent white rice from Thai exporters, traders in Thailand said.

Iraq has bought around 300,000 tonnes of Thai rice so far this year, of which 257,713 tonnes had been shipped, traders said.

Thailand exported 463,195 tonnes of rice to Iraq last year.

Thailand was expected to hold a tender on June 8 to sell 98,000 tonnes of rice it had bought from farmers under price protection programmes since the 2000/01 crop year, an official at the Ministry of Commerce said.

'We are discussing rules of the tender and whether it should be allowed for the domestic market. We don't want the sale to affect domestic prices,' an official said.

Several exporters were eyeing the government tender, but the older rice would fetch prices 20 percent below market rates due to poorer quality, traders said.

'If we had a choice we wouldn't buy this lot because it is very old,' a trader said.

Thai 25 per cent broken rice, considered the lowest grade, was offered at $287 per tonne, slightly up from last week's $283.

Thailand, the world's biggest rice exporter, aims to export 7.5 million tonnes of rice in 2006, up from 7.28 million last year.
MGR Archive 5.6.2006
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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