Vietnam rice prices gain 2-3 pct as harvest ends, Manila tender eyed

HANOI, April 22 (Reuters) - Prices for rice exports from Vietnam have risen 2-3 percent in the last few days as harvesting comes to an end and as two state-owned companies look set to win the Philippines' biggest order for the grain in three years.

Climbing prices in Vietnam, the world's No.2 exporter after India, could boost demand for shipments from rival exporter Thailand, which is typically seen as offering better quality rice.

Harvesting of the winter-spring crop, mainly used for export, is 95 percent complete in the Mekong Delta food basket, an industry report said on Monday, suggesting supplies could be about to tighten.

That comes just as state-owned exporters Vinafood 1 and Vinafood 2 are poised to win deals to supply 800,000 tonnes of rice to the Philippines after submitting the lowest bids in a tender last week.

"Prices are rising, especially (quoted) by those who don't have much in stock," said a trader at a foreign firm in Ho Chi Minh City.

Five-percent broken rice in Vietnam has climbed nearly 2 percent to $390-$395 a tonne, on a free-on-board basis, from $380-$390 late last week, traders said on Tuesday.

They added that the 15-percent broken grade, the variety sought by Manila, has risen nearly 3 percent to $380-$385 a tonne.

(Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Joseph Radford)