January 19, 2012

Bangladesh buys 60,000 tonnes of wheat from Ukraine



Bangladesh inked the lowest deal with Ukraine, importing 60,000 tonnes of wheat at US$280 a tonne, including CIF liner out, according to a senior procurement official.


The price is sharply lower than the first inter-governmental agreement with Kiev, Ukraine in September 2011 which Bangladesh purchased 100,000 tonnes of wheat at US$320 a tonne.


Global wheat prices are on track for a third straight weekly drop, after having shed almost 18% last year.


He also said the government would only import 200,000 tonnes of wheat from now till June due to satisfactory reserves.


The state grains buyer has said it would import a total of 900,000 tonnes of wheat in the 2011-12 fiscal year. It has so far purchased or finalised deals for 560,000 tonnes including the latest pact with Ukraine, the official said.


Rice and wheat stocks at government inventories stand at more than 1.5 million tonnes, the highest level in a decade, boosted by the previous year's hefty imports and record rice crops.


The south Asian country, which buys 3.0-3.5 million tonnes of wheat annually to meet domestic demand, switched to cheaper Black Sea supplies after India banned exports in 2007 amid a global shortage.


However, late last year India allowed exports of wheat and rice, and competitive prices prompted Bangladeshi traders to shift away from Black Sea suppliers.


While wheat consumption is rising in Bangladesh and domestic production has stagnated at nearly one million tonnes, rice remains the staple food for its 160 million people.