Bangladesh. Govt buys 200,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia

09.02.2017

Bangladesh has bought 200,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $245 a tonne under a government-to-government contract.

The first consignment of 55,000 tonnes will arrive on February 18, while the rest will be brought in three batches within March.

This is the first time the government has directly purchased wheat under state arrangement from Russia, said Md Badrul Hasan, director general of the Directorate General of Food.

Earlier, Bangladesh rejected 150,000 tonnes of Russian wheat as the grain bought through biddings did not comply with the quality specifications set by the food office.

The food directorate tightened rules after the import of substandard wheat from Brazil.

With the latest shipment from Russia, total import will be 250,000 tonnes this fiscal year.

Hasan said there is little possibility of buying more wheat from the global market as the food office plans to purchase 200,000 tonnes of wheat from the local market this fiscal year.

The government had planned to buy 500,000 tonnes of wheat from the international market at the beginning of the fiscal year in July.

It also set a target to purchase 300,000 tonnes of domestically grown wheat this fiscal year, ending on June 30, 2017, according to official data.

Despite the cut in government imports, overall imports are expected to be 5 million tonnes this fiscal year, thanks to the purchases by the private sector because of increased consumer demand and lower world prices.Total imports shot up 55 percent to 3.46 million tonnes from July 1 in 2016 to January 19 this year from the same period a year ago, the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit of the food ministry said in its latest fortnightly foodgrain outlook.

Bangladesh imported 4.36 million tonnes of the grain in 2015-16, up 15 percent from the previous year, according to FPMU data.

The USDA recently projected Bangladesh's wheat consumption at 6.2 million tonnes in the current fiscal year. Local production can meet one fifth of the wheat demand in Bangladesh.


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