Asia Rice-Supply squeeze lifts Vietnam rates to more than 8-year high

* No new export deals due to high rates-Vietnamese traders

* Thai rates jump to $465-$500 per tonne

* Indian mills operating at low capacity due to lack of workers

* Bangladesh to review flood's impact on paddy- minister

By K. Sathya Narayanan

BENGALURU, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Vietnamese rice export prices climbed to their highest level since end-2011 this week, as supplies remained constrained due to coronavirus restrictions in top hubs including India and Thailand.

Vietnam's 5% broken rice <RI-VNBKN5-P1> rates on Thursday jumped to $480-$490 a tonne from $470 last week.

"The summer-autumn harvest has ended, and traders haven't been able to buy paddy from Cambodia recently as many of the borders with Cambodia remain shut," said a trader based in Vietnam's Mekong Delta province of An Giang.

"Local traders used to buy around 1,000 tonnes of rice from Cambodia a day in the past."

Preliminary shipping data showed 161,050 tonnes of rice is to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port in August, with most of the rice heading to Africa and Cuba.

However, no new export contracts have been signed recently because Vietnamese pieces now expensive compared with competitors, other traders said.

Top exporter India's 5% broken parboiled variety <RI-INBKN5-P1> was quoted at $382-$387 per tonne this week, up from last week's $380-$385.

"Most rice mills are operating at lower capacity due to a scarcity of workers. Since supplies are limited for the exports, traders are raising prices," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

In Thailand, benchmark 5% broken rice <RI-THBKN5-P1> prices increased to $465-$500 from $463-$485 last week, on a strengthening baht.

"Supply concern has kept prices higher as we are still not seeing much new supply entering the market from the off-season crop," a Thai rice trader said.

Bangladesh will review the impact of floods on paddy before deciding on importing rice, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said.

"Currently, there's no fear of food shortage in the country... A decision to import rice will be taken if the yield of rice is not good and the floods are prolonged."

(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai, Ruma Paul in Dhaka, Khanh Vu in Hanoi and Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok; additional reporting by Swati Verma; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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