Govt gets lowest offer of $430 per tonne in rice import tender

Reuters . Dhaka | Update:

Bangladesh received a lowest offer of $430 tonne CIF liner out from Phoenix in a tender that opened on Sunday to import 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice, officials at the state grains buyer said.

Bangladesh is stepping up imports due to depleted stocks and record local prices following flash floods.

Six traders competed for Sunday's tender, the fourth issued since May by the Directorate General of Food.

Growing demand from Bangladesh should stoke Asian prices that have already hit multi-year highs in recent months.

The rice is to be shipped within 40 days of contract signing.

Last week, a Bangladeshi delegation visited Thailand to finalise imports of rice in a government-to-government deal, officials said.

Bangladesh is buying 200,000 tonnes of Vietnamese white rice at $430 a tonne and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $470 a tonne in a state-to-state deal - at rates much higher than in the tenders.

"We don't have any other option but to speed up imports," said a senior food ministry official. "This time we won't be able to achieve our local procurement target. We are going for state-to-state deals even if it is costlier, as importing via tenders is a lengthy process."

The state grains buyer bought 50,000 tonnes of white rice at $406.48 a tonne and 100,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $427.85 and $445.11 a tonne in three previous tenders.

It is also in talks with India, and private traders have started importing rice from the neighbour after the government cut import duties late last month.

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