Bangladesh gets offers in tender to buy 50,000 tonnes rice

A worker dries rice at a farm house in Dhaka April 21, 2010. Bangladesh's food and disaster management ministry will buy 1.1 million tonnes of rice from domestic farmers in the next four months to boost emergency food stocks, officials said on Wednesday

The lowest offer in a Bangladesh tender to buy 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice that closed on Monday was $405.60 a tonne, including freight, insurance and other expenses, an official from the state grains buyer said.

India’s ETC Agro made the lowest offer while only other bidder took part in the tender, with the rice to be shipped within 40 days of signing the deal. The offer will now be submitted to the cabinet purchase committee for approval.

The source of the rice is believed to be Indian origin, the official said.

Historically the world’s third-biggest rice producer, Bangladesh has emerged as a big importer of the grain lately due to depleted stocks and record local prices after repeated flooding ravaged its crop.

Bangladesh is cutting the duty on rice imports to 25% from 62.5% while allowing private traders to import the grain up to a certain level, in an effort to bolster reserves and cool record prices, the country’s food minister said.

The government is also rushing to build buffer stocks as it aims to import as much as 500,000 tonnes of rice in the year to June.

Apart from tenders, it is finalising the purchase of 150,000 tonnes of rice from India’s state firm NAFED, officials said, in what would be the first such bilateral deal in three years.

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