March 22, 2012


Bangladesh, Ukraine in talks on wheat imports



After having purchased 160,000 tonnes from Kiev already, Bangladesh is holding talks with Ukraine to import 100,000 tonnes of wheat in an inter-governmental agreement, a senior procurement official said on Wednesday (Mar 21).


"Preliminary discussions have been going on to import 100,000 tonnes of wheat from Ukraine. We will go for buying from there only if the price and other conditions matched. Otherwise we will buy it through tenders," said the official at the Directorate General of Food.


Bangladesh in January signed a deal to import 60,000 tonnes of wheat from Ukraine at US$280 a tonne, including CIF liner out, after purchasing 100,000 tonnes in September at US$320 a tonne in its first government-to-government wheat deal with Kiev.


Separately, Bangladesh's state grain buyer tendered on Wednesday (Mar 21) to import 50,000 tonnes of wheat to boost reserves.


The deadline to submit offers is April 4, with validity till April 15, and the wheat is to be shipped within 40 days of signing the contract.


It was the ninth tender for wheat issued by the state grain buyer, which has said it plans to import a total of 900,000 tonnes of wheat in the year to June. The state buyer has so far purchased or finalised deals for 400,000 tonnes through tenders and 160,000 tonnes in its intergovernmental agreements with Ukraine.


"We had a carry-over stock of 140,000 tonnes from last year's purchases," the official said.


"Today, we issued a tender for 50,000 tonnes and will need to issue just another tender for 50,000 tonnes, if the proposed deal with Ukraine for 100,000 tonnes is finalised, to reach this year's import target," he said.


Bangladesh got the lowest offer at US$303.90 a tonne, including CIF liner out, from India-based LMJ international in the previous tender that opened on March 7.


Private traders import around 2.5-3.0 million tonnes of wheat to meet demand, with domestic production having stagnated at nearly one million tonnes.