Wheat tender draws no response amid political turmoil

Bangladesh’s state grains buyer said it received no bids for the import of 50,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender that closes on Thursday amid political turmoil ahead of next month’s elections.

The tender was reissued earlier this month after the winning bidder failed to supply wheat on time.

Tens of thousands of troops fanned out across Bangladesh on Thursday in a bid to stem political violence ahead of elections.

wheatViolent protests, shutdowns and blockades over the Jan. 5 election, which is being boycotted by the main opposition, have gripped the country and crippled economic activity. It also forced the postponement of the tea auction on Dec. 3.

The imports are part of a plan by the state Directorate General of Food to ship in 850,000 tonnes of wheat in the year to June 2014, up from about 350,000 tonnes in the previous year, amid dwindling government reserves.

Rice and wheat stocks at government warehouses fell below 1 million tonnes this month from 1.4 million tonnes a year earlier.

In a previous tender that opened on Dec. 11, the state grains buyer got the lowest offer of $311 a tonne CIF liner out from Midgulf International Ltd.