Fresh spike in rice prices

Prices for all varieties of rice have slipped due to crop losses for floods, rainfall, disease attacks on rice fields and depleted stocks.

The price of the rough variety of rice rose 13 percent to Tk 42-45 per kilo at retail levels in Dhaka yesterday, from Tk 37-40 a month ago.

According to data from Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the price of rough rice, the rice market indicator, rose 32 percent yesterday.

The price of medium and finished grains also increased – by Tk 2-4 per kilogram – over the weekend, according to TCB and the Department of Agricultural Marketing.

"There is a shortage of rice in the mills while the stock of rice is also zero. The damage caused by the paddy floods in the haor region and the recent rainfall was a blow to the market, Said KM Layek Ali, General Secretary of Bangladesh Auto, Major and Husking Mills Association.

The peak price of the basic item comes at a time when stocks in public warehouses have reached a threshold of six years and imports have fallen due to an increase in service. At this time of year, stocks of the previous crop generally begin to decline and fresh rice crops come from the haor regions to the northeast, said traders and millers.

But flooding in the swamp has erased crops, resulting in a loss of 4.5 lakh tons of grain, according to the government's key estimates.

"There is no hope. It would be difficult to recover the losses," said Ali.

With farmers struggling to recover part of their crops in arid regions, precipitation and flooding have affected the standing boro in some northwestern districts as well.

The attack of fungal diseases in some areas has exacerbated the situation, which has dampened the outlook for boro paddy which accounts for about 55 percent of the annual total supply of the staple to 3.47 tons of Crore.

The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) predicted earlier production of 1.91 tons of rice in the current season, as part of its objective of bagging 3.51 tons of oil In fiscal year 2016-17. Millers said that farmers in the northwest usually start harvesting at the end of April. But it is still beginning to thrive.

"There is an acute shortage of rice in local crops in growing areas, wherever there is a reserve of fresh crops, buyers rush to the spot, and there are reports on early sale By some millers, "he said.

Abdur Rashid Dawan, owner of Matin Rice Agency, a wholesaler of rice from Babubazar in Dhaka, said millers could not supply the required amount of rice due to inadequate Supplies.

He made orders for 30 tons of rice with a sucker last week; The miller provided half the order. "I will contact the mill tomorrow (today)"

The supply of paddy remains low, as many farmers have not been able to harvest the rice already matured due to bad weather, he said.

"Precipitation also delayed the ripening of the grain, but it seems that the supply will increase in a week, if the current time continues."

Towfiqul Islam Khan, researcher at the Center for Policy Dialogue, said that a diminished rice stock and loss of boro crops favor speculation in the rice market.

The rise in the price of coarse increase particularly affects extreme poverty that works in the informal non-agricultural sector, including urban slum dwellers.

This group spends about 40 percent of its total income on rice, he added. "It is essential to strengthen efforts aimed at sales at the level of the public market and relief work in areas affected by floods."

Khan said that rising prices could also affect purchases of the boro season, as the price offered may not seem lucrative. The government must monitor it closely and explore the import options, he added.

The government aims to buy seven lakh tons of rice and eight lakh tons of rice during the boro harvest at Tk 24 and Tk 34, 4 percent and 6 percent more than last year.

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