September 3, 2008


Asia Grain Outlook on Wednesday: Rice stable; grains pressured by oil slide


Asian rice prices remained flat in the week to Wednesday as political unrest in major producer Thailand did not translate into supply concerns and higher prices, traders said.


"Politics is politics, trade continues as usual," a rice trader based in Bangkok said Wednesday.


Thailand's export price for 100% grade B rice is now US$760 per metric tonne, the same as a week ago.


According to Chookiat Ophaswongse, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, demand for Thai rice has been slow recently and is likely to be sluggish over the next few weeks.


In other commodities, a selloff in crude oil - as supply concerns sparked by Hurricane Gustav ease - is likely to weigh on corn, soybean and wheat.


Soybean futures traded on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange settled sharply lower Tuesday tracking the tumble in crude oil prices.


The benchmark January 2009 soybean contract settled RMB121 lower at RMB4,216/tonne, down 2.8% from the previous close, after trading in a range of RMB4,188-RMB4,232/tonne.


Funds are also turning their attention to the dollar instead of commodities due to expectations of a dollar rebound, said a Singapore-based analyst.

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