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Bangladesh to import rice from India
December 08, 2017
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DHAKA: Bangladesh will import 150,000 tonnes of rice from India in a state deal priced at $440 a tonne, two food ministry officials said on Thursday, as the government races to restore depleted reserves and combat high prices.

Traditionally the world’s fourth-biggest rice producer, Bangladesh’s imports of the grain are set to hit their highest levels in a decade after floods damaged its crops.

India’s state-run National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) will supply the non-basmati parboiled rice within 60 days after signing the deal, which will take place soon, the officials said. The price includes shipping, insurance and discharge costs.

Bangladesh had already sealed a deal with India’s another state agency PEC to import 100,000 tonnes of rice at $455 a tonne.

Rice is a staple food for Bangladesh’s 160 million people and high prices pose a problem for the government, which faces a national election next year.

Despite deals with several rice exporting countries such as Vietnam, Bangladesh is still struggling to build its reserves, after a deal with Cambodia for 250,000 tonnes was scrapped last month over a delay in shipments.

Strong demand from Bangladesh helped push Asian rice prices to multi-year highs in June.

Bangladesh’s state grains buyer has also issued a series of invitations to tender as it looks to import a total of 1.5 million tonnes of rice in the year to June 2018.

Reuters

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