Home Bangladesh Indian food grains supply fell by 93pc
Bangladesh - March 23, 2024

Indian food grains supply fell by 93pc

Farhad Chowdhury: Foodgrain sourcing from India has reduced by 93 percent in last year due to some supply restriction by Indian authority.
Bangladesh has always been heavily dependent on neighboring India for imports of food grains and sugar. However, imports of food and sugar from India have declined, according to updated data from the country’s commerce department. Among them, the import of food grains has decreased by about 93 percent compared to the last financial year.
And the import of sugar has decreased by almost 70 percent. According to data from India’s Commerce Department, Bangladesh imported foodgrains worth $128.76 million in the fiscal year 2022-23 (April-March period in India). Of this, rice, wheat and corn have been imported for 418.7 million dollars, $551.7 million and $313.33 million respectively. On the other hand, in the first ten months of the current financial year (April-January), foodgrains were imported from India only worth $85.8 million.
Of this, corn worth $715 million and rice worth $121 million have been imported. Bangladesh did not import any wheat at this time. The import of rice from the country was virtually stopped in the remaining two months of the financial year, i.e. February and March. The import of corn was not so much. Accordingly, the import of food grains from the country to Bangladesh has decreased by about 93 percent.
Earlier in 2021-22, Bangladesh imported more food grains from India than last fiscal year. In the financial year 2021-22, foodgrains worth $224.65 crore were imported. Of this, wheat worth $119.16 million, corn worth $43.24 million and rice worth $62 million are imported.
Similarly, the import of sugar has also decreased by about 70 percent. In the fiscal year 2022-23 (April-March), Bangladesh imported sugar worth $477.2 million from India. In the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, the import of sugar and sugar-like products was worth $13.97 crore. Earlier, in the financial year 2021-22, sugar and sugar products were imported from India worth $572.3 million.
Besides, Bangladesh imported sugar worth $7.44 crore in 2020-21 financial year, $14.64 crore in 2019-20 financial year and $7.52 crore in 2018-19 financial year.
At one time India was most dependent on rice and sugar imports. At one point, the dependence on India for rice imports alone rose to 73 percent. Market observers say that due to the proximity, the transportation cost and time of importing goods from the country is less. Due to this, importers became dependent on India for rice and sugar imports. Especially due to the outbreak of Corona and its subsequent decrease in imports from various sources, this dependence has increased. However, in recent times, the official rice import has decreased a lot.
In the context of the price increase in the international market, the Indian government imposed a ban on the export of all types of non-basmati rice from July 20 last year. After that, the country imposed several more restrictions on the export of rice. According to the latest edition of the World Bank’s ‘Food Security Update’, the country has now completely stopped exporting sugar and wheat. Again, various restrictions imposed on the export of rice are still in place. On the other hand, Bangladesh also stopped importing rice. However, after being closed for some time, last Thursday, the government gave permission to 30 companies to import 83 thousand tons of rice.
Again, Bangladesh’s dependence on Russia and Ukraine for wheat import was high. Before the ongoing war between these two countries, India became the main import source of wheat. At the start of the war, Bangladesh’s dependence on India for wheat imports had increased to 70 percent. But in March 2022, India imposed a ban on wheat exports to maintain the domestic market. However, despite this, the country maintains some degree of wheat export to Bangladesh. Later, the country extended the ban on exports as the price of wheat in the country increased. Apart from these issues, market observers believe that the dollar crisis has also played a role in the decrease in the import of food grains and sugar.
Former Food Secretary Abdul Latif Mandal told, “The import of food grains from India increased during the Corona period. India being the nearest source has more imports. But the government did not import rice this year. However, recently 83 thousand tons of import has been allowed. Generally, rice is imported from India. Since there was no import of rice this time, it is normal for the total import to decrease. Wheat has also been imported from other countries. Now another reason for the decrease in overall imports is the dollar crisis. For these reasons, the government did not import rice this time. But it has an impact on consumers. They had to buy products at a higher price.
According to the sources of the Ministry of Food, a total of 39 lakh 20 thousand tons of food grains were imported in the current financial year. All of it is wheat. No type of rice has been imported in the current financial year. However, the government recently allowed 30 companies to import 83 thousand tons of rice. Besides, Bangladesh imported 10 lakh 55 thousand tons of rice and 38 lakh 75 thousand tons of wheat in the fiscal year 2022-23.
When asked about the overall issue, Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior secretary of the Ministry of Commerce told, “Most of the rice comes from India.” And a part is imported from Thailand and Vietnam. But no rice was imported in the country in the current financial year. In the case of wheat, the overall import is much lower than before due to higher prices. Again, various restrictions have been imposed on the export of wheat to India. Because of that, the product has become an alternative source of import. Many have imported wheat from Canada or Australia.
Due to this, wheat import from India has decreased. There is no specific reason for low imports in a particular year. However, if the restrictions are lifted, it will be seen that imports have increased again. India also stopped exporting sugar. We need a lot of sugar. Now bulk sugar is coming directly from Brazil.

Check Also

President Joe Biden tests positive for COVID-19 while campaigning in Las Vegas, has ‘mild symptoms’

International Desk: President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 while traveling Wedne…