When rice production hampered all over the world Bangladesh reeled with bumper turnout for the second consecutive year in a row. Rice price are growing globally for this production shortfall but Bangladesh has adequate supply and is able to export rice this year. “The total rice yield is expected to increase significantly this year thanks to good weather and cultivation of hybrid and high-yielding varieties (HYV), a high official of the Ministry of Agriculture told Business Mirror Sunday. African nations Nigeria, Liberia, Uganda, Sudan along with Asian Philippine, Indonesia are facing production shortfall this year posing a threat of famine at Africa, sources said. “Vietnam’s rice export prices grow to a more than one-year high this season on strong demand from the Philippines and Malaysia, while rates for the Indian variety held steady at an over four-month peak.,”
“Prices of Vietnamese rice may be even increase further as they remain significantly lower than in other rice-producing countries,” a Vietnamese newspaper reported. Meanwhile, Bangladesh could impose a ban on exports of common rice amid a spike in domestic prices, a commerce ministry official said. Earlier, the government offered traders a cash subsidy worth 15% of rice exports in a bid to compete with rivals and protect farmers struggling with low prices. The cash incentives will still be applicable for aromatic rice exports, the official said. The dry season started in November and usually lasts through April, although this year met officers say it could persist into June, curbing rice production in many areas.”Rice prices remain high compared to competitors at Thailand and the little demand we had is mostly domestic as some are buying stock fearing shortage from the drought,” another Bangkok-based rice trader said a newspaper. Although it is the peak season of harvesting rice, prices of the staple food are going up both in the Dhaka retail and wholesale markets, dealing a blow to the people with limited income who are already struggling to make their ends meet. Within a week, prices of fine rice have increased by Tk 2.5 to 6 per kilogram in retail markets and Tk 100 to 150 per sack [50 kg] in wholesale markets. Prices of coarse rice also went up by Tk 2 to 3 per kg in retail markets and Tk 42 to 50 per sack in wholesale markets.Consumers Association of Bangladesh general secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said that sufferings of people were growing as the ministry of commerce failed to check the volatility in the prices of essentials. Consumers belonging to the lower middle and lower income categories were finding the ‘going tough’ as the record onion price hike has changed the market situation for the worse for the last six months, he said. Commerce minister Tipu Munshi while talking on Wednesday at the Secretariat said that he did not mind with the rice price hike if the benefit went to the growers. But, he said, if the benefit has gone to the middlemen it is very bad. He said that the ministry asked TCB to procure more essential commodities to keep the market stable.