Bangladesh’s state grains buyer issued another international tender on Monday to import 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice, as it grapples with depleted rice stocks and record local prices. The rice is to be shipped within 40 days of signing the deal that ends on 9th July 2017. The step comes as the government is set to slash tax on rice imports after flash floods hit local output, plunging state rice reserves to 10-year lows. Growing demand from Bangladesh will help stock Asian prices that have already hit multi-year highs in recent months.
Bangladesh’s additional secretary, at the food ministry, Mr. Ataur Rahman told last week, that the country would import 200,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of white rice at $430 a tonne and 50,000 MT of parboiled rice at $470 a tonne from Vietnam in a government-to-government deal. Those rates are sharply higher than what it has been paying through previous tenders. Bangladesh is buying 50,000 MT of white rice at $406.48 a tonne and 100,000 MT of parboiled rice at $427.85 and $445.11 per Tonne through tenders. The government is also in talks with Thailand and India to import rice to replenish reserves. Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s central bank has ordered banks to allow traders to import rice without any deposit against letters of credit. Bangladesh produces about 34 million tonnes of rice a year but uses almost all its production to feed its population of 160 million. It often requires imports to cope with shortages caused by natural calamities such as floods and droughts.