An interesting trading signal appeared on the Shipfix Forward Curve for rice exports from India into China last week. The Forward Curve provides unprecedented insights into upcoming trade flows based on aggregated and anonymised market order volumes globally, on a spot-onward basis.
"China has begun importing Indian rice for the first time in at least three decades due to tightening supplies from Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam and an offer of sharply discounted prices." (Reuters, February 2020)
Whilst Chinese Customs did not immediately respond to comments on its rice imports, it is obvious from the Shipfix Market Insights that China has resumed trade with India because of the limited supply it could muster from the major rice suppliers; Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Pakistan. The decision to import rice from India ultimately came after the South East Asian rice exporting countries reported plummeting production volumes, making India attractive for imports compared to other competitors that have been quoting at higher prices from the shortage. The Shipfix Rice Index tracks order volumes of rice shipped globally since 2015. The graph below shows clearly the repercussions of global order volumes on the price
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