Bangladesh Wheat: Romania passes Russia


May 23, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minutes

For MY 2023/24, Post forecasts Bangladesh’s Wheat imports at 6.0 million MT, up 20 percent from the MY 2022/23 USDA official estimate, on increased supply from partner countries and an improved domestic economy. In MY 2022/23, Post’s Wheat import estimate is 5.0 million MT, the same as the USDA official estimate. According to the sources, in the first eight months of MY 2022/23, Bangladesh imported around 3 million MT of Wheat, while in the remaining four months of the MY, Bangladesh could import a maximum quantity of 2 million MT.

Usually, Bangladesh requires approximately 7 million MT of Wheat imports annually to meet demand; however, in MY 2022/23, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting disruption of international supply chains, the high global price of Wheat, appreciation of the U.S. dollar, and delays in opening letters of credit stemming from a lack of U.S. dollars in Bangladesh hampered imports. According to AgFlow data, Bangladesh’s Wheat imports totaled 1.4 million tons in Jan-Apr 2023. Ukraine shipped 0.55 million tons of Wheat, followed by Romania (0.28 million tons), Russia (0.26 million tons), and Canada (0.22 million tons).

Shorter shipment times, low freight costs, and geographic proximity make India one of the preferred Wheat exporters to Bangladesh. Indian Wheat is transported to Bangladesh via road and rail. In MY 2021/22, India supplied 67 percent of total Wheat imports in Bangladesh, followed by Canada (11 percent), Ukraine (10 percent), Australia (7 percent), and Russia (5 percent). As stated above, due to India’s Wheat export ban, Indian exports have dropped substantially in MY 2022/23. Bangladesh is seeking a guaranteed supply of essential commodities from India. In early 2022, the GoB sent a proposal to India to get a quota facility to import Wheat, rice, onion, lentils, sugar, garlic, and ginger.

Directly following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Wheat imports from the Black Sea region stopped. After the signing of the Black Sea Grain Deal, the GoB approved the importation of 500 thousand MT of Wheat from Russia under a G2G agreement on August 31, 2022. Subsequently, private importers began to import Wheat from the Black Sea. According to Post contacts, as of February 2023 in MY 2022/23, Bangladesh has imported around 500 thousand MT from Russia and 400 thousand MT from Ukraine.

As of March 2023, the Ministry of Food estimated the GoB’s Wheat stocks at 410 thousand MT, up 80 percent from last year. As mentioned above, the GoB purchased around 500 thousand MT of Wheat from Russia, augmenting stocks. Post forecasts MY 2023/24 total (public and private) Wheat stocks at 683 thousand MT. In the same month, the average retail price of unpacked aata fell slightly to BDT 60.5 ($0.56) per kilogram, though it was still up 67 percent from the same time last year. At the same time, the average retail price of fine-quality unpacked Wheat flour (also called maida) reached BDT 66 ($0.62) per kilogram.

Bangladesh Wheat: Romania passes Russia

Wheat Consumption in Bangladesh

For MY 2023/24, Post increased its FSI Wheat consumption to 7.0 million MT, assuming higher imports and rebounding demand for aata and maida at the household level. The FSI consumption forecast for MY 2023/24 is up 8 percent over MY 2022/23. In MY 2022/23, Post’s estimate of FSI Wheat consumption is 6.3 million MT, down 3 percent from the USDA official estimate. The estimate is also 18 percent down from the previous MY on lower imports, high local prices, and lower household consumption of both aata and maida. Due to the high price of Wheat flour, household demand has fallen significantly in the last few months as consumers shift to rice. The prices of Wheat-based bakery and restaurant products have also increased. 

Other sources: USDA

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