Bangladesh has issued an international tender to buy 50,000 tonnes of wheat, the latest in a series of tenders as the country looks to replenish reserves, a procurement official said on Monday.
The imports are part of a plan by the Directorate General of Food, the state agency, to ship in 850,000 tonnes of wheat in the current financial year, up from around 350,000 tonnes the previous year, Reuters reports.
The deadline to submit offers under the latest tender is Dec. 5, with validity up to Dec. 15, and the wheat is to be shipped within 40 days of signing the contract, said Mohammad Badrul Hasan, procurement director at the purchasing agency.
The state grains buyer has so far purchased or agreed to buy 250,000 tonnes in tenders. The government is also buying 200,000 tonnes of wheat in a government-to-government deal with Ukraine at $307 a tonne, CIF liner out.
The government imports wheat to run welfare programmes for the poor and to keep domestic prices stable. Its reserves have dropped to around 1 million tonnes from 1.4 million tonnes a year earlier.
In the previous financial year ended in June, the state grains buyer could not achieve its import target of 800,000 tonnes mainly because traders failed to supply wheat on time.
For this year, it has introduced tougher delivery rules to ensure supplies are delivered on time by the winning bidder.
Apart from the government, private traders also import about 2.5 million tonnes of wheat a year to help to meet local demand of 4 million tonnes.
Domestic output amounts to about 1 million tonnes.
Wheat consumption is rising in Bangladesh in line with steady economic growth and changes in lifestyles, though rice remains the staple food for its 160 million people.