Bangladesh to import 400,000 tonnes of rice from India

April 7th, 2008 - 12:28 am ICT by admin  

Dhaka, April 6 (Xinhua) The caretaker government of Bangladesh Sunday opened a letter of credit to import 400,000 tonnes of rice at $430 per tonne from India, a senior official said. “India will supply 100,000 tonnes of rice within a month and the rest within two months,” Food Secretary Mollah Wahiduzzaman told Xinhua.

Four state-owned Indian companies will supply the rice under an agreement signed by Bangladesh and India last month.

The government’s highest purchase body approved the import of rice from India March 30, after weeks of protracted negotiations on the price between the two countries.

Wahiduzzaman said Bangladesh has enough supply of rice and the new import of is aimed at beefing up its falling stock and putting a lid on the soaring rice prices in the local market.

The government was keen to ensure the supply from India as most of the traditional rice exporters have already stopped shipments, resulting in over 50 percent increase in price in the global markets in past one month.

Rice prices in Bangladesh have almost doubled in the past one-year as widespread floods in July and August and the devastating cyclone in November damaged some 2 million tonnes of rice.

The government in January started negotiations with India for importing 500,000 tonnes of rice.

Of the total 500,000 tonnes, India sold 100,000 tonnes at $399 per tonne. But it hiked the price of the rest 400,000 tonnes following spikes in rates in the global market.

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