Monday, October 23, 2017

Bangladesh seeks to import 50,000 tonnes of rice

  • News Desk,
    Published: 2017-05-09 12:46:59 BdST


Bangladesh has floated an international tender to buy 50,000 tonnes of rice.

Traders have until May 21 to submit bids, the Directorate General of Food has said.

Traders will have to supply 60 percent of non-Basmati parboiled rice through Chittagong port and 40 percent through Mongla port, according to a tender notice by the state grains buyer.

This is the first rice tender by the government this fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the government is considering to a temporary withdrawal of duty on rice imports after flash floods in northeastern backwaters.

After meeting with rice mill owners last week, Food Minister Qamrul Islam said that no country usually impose duty on essential commodities.

He said that was the case in Bangladesh as well, but it was done to stop import by unscrupulous traders.

"Considering the scenario, we have proposed the government to withdraw it. We believe the price manipulation can be curbed if the duty is cut," the minister told the media.

He claimed Bangladesh usually have a surplus of 1.5 to 2 million tonnes of rice every year.

Figures posted on the food ministry's website show that the stock in government warehouses until Apr 27 stood at 305,000 tonnes against 750,000 tonnes in the same month last year.

The government plans to buy 1.5 million tonnes of grains during the Boro crop season this year, which may not be possible now after flash floods inundated crop fields in the haors or backswamps of northeast.

Unseasonal downpours in early April caused the floods leaving Boro cropfields at haors (backswamps) in Sunamganj, Kishoreganj, Netrokona, Moulvibazar, Sylhet, Habiganj, Moulvibazar and Brahmanbaria districts inundated.

According to figures by the food ministry, the flash floods damaged Boro crops, which would have yield around 600, 000 tonnes of rice. But unofficial estimates put the number at 2.2 million tonnes.