Bangladesh will continue its ban on rice exports, possibly into next year, in order to hold down local prices of the staple food.
According to the Pius Costa, government director general of food, the decision on rice export for both aromatic and non aromatic may continue after 2009 to keep the rising price within the capacity of common people, The government has issued the order to reimpose the ban last week prohibiting export of both aromatic and non-aromatic rice till the year-end of 2009. Since May last year the government has imposed a ban on exporting rice which ended last month.
K. A. Mannan, the managing director of Mabco Food Limited, a leading importer and exporter of wheat and rice welcomed government's decision as we do not know about the output of Aman rice. But Bangladesh produces around 30 million tonnes of rice, nearly sufficient to feed its more than 150 million people. Moreover Indian traders are negotiating with us for importing rice from our country.
India, also a major rice exporter, may not lift its own ban on rice exports after of the worst monsoons in two decades, Mannan said. The Philippines, another major rice exporter, will also import more rice this year because of crop failures due to repeated typhoons, he said. As in India, farmers in Bangladesh could not transplant rain-fed Aman seedlings in time this year because of the late arrival of the monsoon. At the moment the government has a stock of a little over one million tonne of rice, officials said, adding the government planned to check the output of Aman rice to ensure food security.
They said the agriculture ministry had set a target of cultivating transplanted Aman on 5.4 million hectares of land across the country this season while the production target was set at 12 million tonnes.
India, harvesting its smallest rice crop in seven years, plans to increase purchases from local farmers to avoid imports that are as much as 73 percent more expensive, said a government official.
The federal government will not subsidize supplies from overseas, said the official, who didn’t want to be identified. Glencore International AG and other suppliers last month offered to sell for as high as $598.75 a ton, or 27,600 rupees. That’s higher than 16,000 rupees the government pays for the grain.
Rice prices have jumped 37 percent from this year’s low in March on imports by the Philippines and as drought cut output in India, fueling speculation the country will be a net buyer for the first time in more than two decades. India may purchase as much as 3 million tons, Olam International Ltd. said last month. “Import of rice at prices higher than what we pay farmers is always political dry gunpowder,” R.S. Seshadri, a director at Tilda Riceland Pvt., one of India’s biggest rice exporter, said yesterday in an e-mailed response.
India’s state trading firms, PEC Ltd., MMTC Ltd. and State Trading Corp. on Oct. 30 sought to buy 10,000 metric tons each. Trade Minister Anand Sharma said Nov. 20 the nation won’t import because it has adequate supplies, days after saying the country is in talks with Thailand and Vietnam to secure rice supplies.
The government will have to pay importers as much as $250 a ton to cover losses for selling imported rice at domestic rates, Rakesh Singh, a trader at Emmsons International Ltd., one of the companies that participated in the tender.
India’s monsoon-sown rice production may decline 18 percent to 69.45 million tons from a record 84.58 million tons last year because of drought, according to the farm ministry. Warehouses had 15.35 million tons on Oct. 1, three times the buffer level. The government bought 12.3 million tons from farmers as on Dec. 2, up from 11.5 million tons a year earlier.
When the government says we have supplies that are enough to last 13 months, it means we are in a comfortable position, Vijay Setia, former president of the All India Rice Exporters’ Association, said in an interview.
Rice for January delivery was little changed at $15.725 per 100 pounds in after-hours trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures surged to a record $25.07 per 100 pounds last year as concerns over food shortages led nations including India and Vietnam to curb exports, sparking food riots from Haiti to Egypt.
Source by Parkash Trading