The government has imported around 374,560 tons of rice in the fiscal year 2013-14 (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014), up about 13 times or 1,195pc from around 28,930 tons imported in FY 2012-13, according to data released by the Food Ministry.
Of the total rice imports during the year, around 371,500 tons are imported by the private sector and 3,060 tons are imported by the government. A Bangladesh Bank official told local media sources in the second week of June that fall in global rice prices, simultaneous surge in domestic rice prices and appreciation of the local currency against the dollar were the key drivers to increase in imports by the private sector.
The government usually imports rice for open market sales (OMS) to low-income groups, but has not imported significant quantity of rice in FY 2013-14 as production was suffice to meet the local demand. During FY 2013-14, the Bangladesh government sold rice at around Tk 24 per kilogram (around $303 per ton) under OMS. Data from the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit shows that the average wholesale prices of rice in Bangladesh currently stand at around Tk 34 per kilogram (around $430 per ton) and average retail prices stand at around TK 35.5 per kilogram (around $449 per ton).