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BD rice prices unlikely to fall from current level: USDA

Published : Wednesday, 17 April, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 66

Rice prices are unlikely to decline from the current level in marketing year (MY) 2024-25, beginning from May, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its latest report on Bangladesh.
"This is due to the high cost of paddy production, attributed to the increased costs of seeds, fertilisers, irrigation, labour, and other factors," the USDAs Foreign Agricultural Service said in its report on grain and feed in Bangladesh, published last week.
"Farmers note that the cost of production increased due to the increase in fertiliser cost, irrigation cost, and labour cost," it said.
The daily labour wage rate was 30 to 40 percent higher during the Boro paddy planting season this year compared to that a year ago, it added.
The USDAs prediction comes at a time when rice prices are going up.
On Monday, the price of coarse grain, the benchmark variety, was 6.25 percent higher year-on-year, reaching Tk 50 to Tk 52 per kilogramme at retail markets in Dhaka.
The price of fine grain also edged up, according to market price data collected by the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.
Compared to a month ago, prices of rice, regardless of quality, increased, showed TCB data.
The US agency said the average retail price of high-quality non-aromatic rice remained high throughout MY2023-24.
In March this year, the average price of non-aromatic rice was Tk 68.5 per kilogramme, up 1.5 percent year-on-year, said the USDA report.
"Since October 2023, the coarse rice price has risen slightly every month, primarily on high inflation and higher cost of milling and transportation. Even with the good Aman season harvest, the prices remain high," it said. "Rice millers and traders mentioned that the high price of paddy leads to high prices for rice."
The report also said an import duty reduction by the government in February to 15.25 percent from 62.5 percent as well as the permission granted to the private sector to import the grain was unlikely to reap rewards.
"However, due to the high international price of rice and the depreciation of the local currency, private importers have shown little interest in importing rice," said the USDA.

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