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AGRICULTURE

Bangladesh likely to defer plan to buy Thai rice owing to high prices
Saturday, 29 July, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Hanoi/Dhaka
Bangladesh may defer its plan to import Thai rice owing to high prices, according to a food ministry official from the country. Earlier, Bangladesh’s deal with India fell through for the same reason.

Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, has emerged as a major importer of rice this year due to depleted stocks and record local prices following flash floods, reports Reuters.

"We could not finalise the deal with Thailand as their offer was too high," said a senior food ministry official, who asked not to be quoted as he is not authorised to talk to the media.

This would not hamper import plans, he said, adding, "we are going to Cambodia next week."

However, Badrul Hasan, the head of the state grains buyer, told Reuters that the deal was still open.

"We'll go for it if their new offer is competitive," he said.

The fifth tender by Bangladesh's state grains buyer to import 50,000 tonne of parboiled rice, which opened on Thursday, drew the lowest offer from Olam at $419.51 a tonne, CIF liner out.

Its sixth tender since May for a similar quantity of rice will close on August 8.

The possible suspension of the deal with Thailand came after the government deal with India failed to materialise due to high rates, though private traders have been importing the grain from its neighbour since last month after the government cut import tariffs.

A Thai delegation was in Dhaka early this week to finalise the deal to export up to 200,000 tonne of rice.

"Thailand will submit a new offer. The deal is not totally off," Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association told Reuters.

The price band on country's benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 widened slightly at $395-$408, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok.

Source: Reuters
 
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