November 17, 2008

Bangladesh third quarter grain imports drop 42 percent on good crops


Bangladesh's food-grain imports dropped more than 42 percent year on year to 504,000 tonnes in the third quarter after record production of rice, officials said.


Bangladesh produced a summer rice crop of 17.5 million tonnes against 15 million tonnes last year, offering some relief in the wake of food-grain shortages and soaring prices.


The country is hoping for another bumper crop in the upcoming season, agriculture ministry officials said.


Bangladesh expects to grow 36.68 million tonnes of food grains, mostly rice, in the year to June 2009, up from 29.77 million tonnes in the previous year.


Food grain stocks stood at 1.35 million tonnes at the end of September, against 772,000 tonnes the previous year, food officials said.


The government plans to import 500,000 tonnes of rice and 800,000 tonnes of wheat in the year to next June to boost the buffer stock. Nearly 2.5 percent of Bangladesh's annual budget goes on food imports on average.

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