B’desh 2014 rice imports to be triple: FAO

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation has estimated 2014 Bangladesh’s rice imports to nearly triple to about 4,00,000 tonnes due to lower prices in international market.
The FAO reports that most of the imports are by the private sector, reports oryza.com web site on Thursday. The FAO estimates 2014 aggregate paddy rice production from the three seasons — aus, aman and boro — at 52 million tonnes (around 34.84 million tonnes basis milled), slightly above an estimated 2013 paddy rice production of 51.5 million tonnes (around 34.5 million tonnes basis milled) due to increased planted area backed by favourable weather conditions, and government support to the rice sector, in the form of seed, fertiliser and fuel subsidies.
On average, aus, aman and boro seasons account for 7 per cent, 38 per cent and 55 per cent respectively of annual paddy production.
The UN agency reports that planting for 2014 aus season rice crop is almost complete and expects the season’s output at 3.6 million tonnes (around 2.4 million tonnes basis milled), up about 3 per cent from about 3.5 million tonnes produced last year.
It also reports that paddy rice production from 2013-14 boro crop at record 28.5 million tonnes (around 19 million tonnes basis milled), slightly above bumper production in 2012.
The FAO reports that domestic rice prices were stable in April and expects prices to decline in the coming months with increased supply from 2013-14 boro crop harvests.
According to data from Bangladesh’s food ministry, Bangladesh imported 374,560 tonnes of rice (3,71,500 tonnes by private sector and 3,060 tonnes by the government) as on May 27, 2014 during the financial year 2013-14 (July 2013-June 2014). Bangladesh imported 28,930 tonnes (25,270 tonnes by private sector and 3,660 tonnes by the government) during the FY13.
USDA estimates in the FY14 Bangladesh paddy rice production at 51.89 million tonnes (around 34.59 million tonnes basis milled), up about 2 per cent from around 50.74 million tonnes (around 33.82 million tonnes basis milled).
It estimates in the FY15 paddy rice production will slightly increase to 52.2 million tonnes (around 34.8 million tonnes basis milled) over the FY14.
It estimates Bangladesh to import 4,00,000 tonnes of rice in the FY14, up about 11.5 times from a mere 35,000 tonnes imported in the FY13. However, it expects Bangladesh’s imports to decline by about 75 per cent to 1,00,000 tonnes in the FY15.

-With New Age input

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