August 29, 2022


Bangladesh to import 500,000 tonnes of wheat at US$430 a tonne from Russia



Bangladesh is planning to import 500,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia at a price of US$430 per tonne, according to two government sources with direct knowledge of the situation on August 28, as Bangladesh struggles to secure supplies in the face of rising costs, Channel News Asia reported.


The south Asian nation has been looking at ways to purchase the grain since its top supplier India halted exports of it in May, making it one of the importers particularly hard-hit by the disruption to Ukrainian and Russian grain supplies.


One of the executives stated that the contract with Russia will be inked soon and that the cargo shipments would happen in stages by January.


The other official stated that Bangladesh will pay for the item in US dollars and added that the price included freight, insurance, and unloading.


Since neither official had permission to speak to the media, they agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity.


Salman Fazlur Rahman, the prime minister's advisor on business and investments, said Bangladesh is purchasing food and fertiliser from Russia. There are no restrictions on the import of food grains and fertilizers from Russia, he said, adding that payments can be made in dollars through 24 international banks.


Bangladesh attempted to bolster its government stock after India banned exports earlier this year, but some international auctions had to be cancelled because to the sky-high costs in a volatile worldwide market.


Black Sea wheat is a popular import into Bangladesh, but since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, no supplies have arrived.


Private traders have already begun importing Black Sea wheat from Russia, Ukraine, and Bulgaria, according to industry insiders, who also noted that it was doubtful neighbouring India would ease the export prohibition on wheat.


In the year ending in June 2021, the nation imported 5.4 million tonnes of wheat, with 24% of its supplies coming from India, 21% from Russia, and 17% from Ukraine.


Bangladesh must import wheat to satisfy domestic demand because domestic production has remained constant at 1 million tonnes.


The government, which has already been having trouble containing the effects of rising commodity prices, may now be in even more trouble after raising oil prices by as much as 51.7% earlier this month.


Bangladesh was also considering a Russian proposal to import less expensive fuel, though officials have said that paying for oil would be difficult for Dhaka given Western sanctions against Moscow.


-      Channel News Asia

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