The USDA Post says that Bangladesh rice imports are likely to decline sharply to around 100,000 tons in MY 2014-15 (May – April), down about 75% from an estimated 400,000 tons in MY 2013-14 due to higher than expected production.
The Post has increased the projections for Bangladesh rice imports in MY2013-14 to 400,000 tons, which is up about 81% from USDA official estimates of 220,000 tons. The Post says that rice imports are expected to increase this year due to a strong Taka (currency) and high internal transportation costs that are causing domestic rice prices to be uncompetitive in districts that border India.
Between December and March 2013, Bangladesh imported about 374,000 tons of rice from India, most of it by the private sector, say the Post. However, imports are likely to drop in MY 2014-15 due to higher supplies. The Post says that Bangladesh rice production in MY 2014-15 is likely to increase to 34.8 million tons, up by 210,000 tons from 34.59 million tons in MY 2013-14 due to expectations of higher acreage and good yields for the Aus rice crop (March -July).
The Post expects Bangladesh rice consumption to increase to 34.8 million tons in MY 2014-15, up about 200,000 tons from 34.6 million tons in MY 2013-14 based on population growth. The average per capita annual consumption of rice in Bangladesh is 152 kilograms, but it may decline due to its higher prices compared to other staples such as wheat. USDA estimates Bangladesh’s ending stocks to increase to 1.19 million tons in MY 2014-15, up about 9% from 1.09 million tons in MY 2013-14.
The government has procured 1.15 million tons of rice, about 18% less than the estimated target of 1.4 million tons in MY 2013-14.