Bangladesh Looks To Russia For Wheat After Export Ban in India

Bangladesh is trying to secure wheat supplies from Russia in a government-to-government deal after it's biggest supplier India banned exports of the grain last month to contain local prices. The supply deal with Russia, the world's biggest wheat exporter, could help Dhaka in meeting its needs below the elevated global prices. Bangladesh is holding a virtual meeting with Russia today to finalise the deal, said a senior official with Bangladesh's food ministry. Bangladesh imports around 7 million tonnes of wheat and last year more than-two thirds of that came from India.

After India's export ban, Bangladesh tried to secure supplies via international tenders but has cancelled them because of high prices. Bangladesh was paying less than $400 per tonne on the cost and freight basis for Indian wheat, but after the ban other suppliers started quoting above $460, which raised local prices in Bangladesh, said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm. The Bangladesh government is struggling to contain soaring commodity prices, with inflation at an eight-year high in May, while the country's wheat stocks hit their lowest in three years at 166,000 tonnes. But paying for Russian wheat would be a challenge for Dhaka given Western sanctions on Moscow. Bangladesh would initially buy small amount of Russian wheat and will increase buying if "all goes well on arranging shipments and payment's front," said the New-Delhi based dealer.

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