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Flood hit Bangladesh to import rice from India

India is getting ready to supply 150,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh in a government to government deal. According to a Reuters report, this could be the first bilateral deal in three years after floods in Bangladesh sent local prices to a record high. The rice will be supplied from the state owned National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) of India.

While Bangladesh, which is the world's third-largest producer of rice with an output of about 35 million tonnes every year, it has to import the grain, the primary staple cereal in the country, when production drops due to natural disasters.

Sources said that the finer details of the deal are currently being worked out. Indian rice is priced lower than that of Thailand and Vietnam. Typically rice from Thailand and Vietnam is exported at over $400 for a tonne.

Rice produced in India has remained at a reasonable level with a record production of the grain.

India’s rice exports have recorded whopping growth of 70 per cent to touch 7.5 million tonne during the first six months of the current financial year. This is primarily due to the doubling of the non-basmati rice exports supported by healthy demand from countries in Africa and south-east Asia.

Demand for non Basmati rice has increased from other south and south east Asian countries. Rice exporters of the country are expecting outbound shipment of the cereal to increase significantly due to competitive pricing.

“This year we will easily be able to export over 10 million tonnes of non-basmati rice compared to 5.04 million tonnes in the previous year,” the Economic Times quoted BV Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters’ Association as saying.

India has also contracted to export broken boiled rice to China notwithstanding the rising political tensions between the two countries. Beijing will import 100,000 tonnes of broken rice in the December to February period at around $300 per tonne from India.

According to Worldstopexports, a data collation portal, India supplied rice – parboiled rice– worth $515,000 to China in 2019 accounting for 0.04 per cent of Beijing’s total rice import requirements. The portal also added that since 2018, India’s exports of rice to China, the largest importer of the grain, has gone up due to shrinking supplies
from Thailand.

An analyst also said that the quantum of indirect export of rice to China from India could be much higher. This means that India’s rice exports are first routed to a third country before shipping the grain into China..