Paddy prices have hit record highs even as the Aman harvest begins across Bangladesh with coarse varieties selling at Tk 30-32 per kilogram, leading insiders to speculate that rice could also become more expensive within weeks. .
Market experts say this high-priced paddy could also boost husked rice prices over the coming week and it could also affect government procurement aimed at increasing stocks in silos to handle any requirement, especially following a global crisis.
However, Boro season coarse rice was still selling at Tk 44-55 per kg (factory entrance in Dhaka), Tk 54-65 medium and finer Tk 65-98 per kg (Dhaka area). factory in Dhaka), according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, the Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM) and online outlets.
Visiting many mokams or trading places of raw agricultural products in Dinajpur and Nilphamari districts last week, FE correspondent found such a prospect of new crop and paddy marketing.
“Aman season’s new milled coarse rice would cost at least Tk 51 per kg at the factory gate if the current paddy price trend continues,” Boleshwar Ray, a grain trader in Bhabaniganj Haat, told FE. to Nilphamari Sadar.
He said the newly harvested Guti Swarna and Mamun dhan varieties were selling at Tk 2,350-2,400 per 75 kg bag while Dhanigold, a medium quality paddy variety, at Tk 2,600 per bag.
He said Swarna-5, Katari, BRRI dhan-34 and other finer varieties have yet to be harvested.
“50 to 60 farmers came to Bhabaniganj Haat today and sold their produce in two to three hours amid high demand,” said Ramij Ali Basunia, a farmer from Hajiganj area.
He thinks the prices are high as the yield per decimal has declined to some extent this year due to a shortage of fertilizer and water at the height of the growing seasons.
“I sold 17 maunds or nine bags of paddy at Tk 2380 per bag from my two bighas of land,” he said.
Jaber Alam, a farmer from Khansama Haat in Dinajpur, told the correspondent that big farmers would not sell paddy now, while small farmers are also preserving paddy on a large scale, sensing any possible food shortage.
“And the millers and their allied traders chase the paddy even from the farmers’ fields, leading to skyrocketing prices,” he says of the tricks of the trade.
He said farmers are quite happy with the current paddy rates as most of them are making a profit of 10-12% over the cost price.
Contacted, Secretary of Bangladesh Auto Major Husking Mill Owners Association (BAMHMOA), KM Layek Ali said the paddy season has started with high rates as Guti Swarna variety sells at Tk 1250-1300 per maund, this which is much higher than that of the government purchase price. fixed at Tk 1120 (Tk 28 per kg).
He believes that the success of the government’s campaign to buy rice and paddy is highly unlikely amid such rising market prices. The Director General for Food (DGoF) has set a target to purchase 0.5 million tonnes of rice at Tk 42 per kg and 0.3 million tonnes of paddy at Tk 28 per kg.
Government warehouses now have a stock of 1.3 million tonnes of rice, the DGoF said.
The Vice President of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), SM Nazer Hossain, said the government should facilitate imports by removing all kinds of import duties (now higher than 15%) for now, as world prices have risen significantly in recent months.
Public contracts must be fulfilled to ensure the proper functioning of safety net programs, he suggests.
“And market surveillance at the factory gate, wholesalers in the city should continue to avoid any artificial price increases,” he said.
Only 0.25 million tons of rice could be imported so far in the current fiscal year against a permit for 1.4 million tons issued by the Ministry of Food.
However, the Ministry of Agriculture expected a production of 16 million tonnes of rice for this Aman season, as the harvesting of more than 10 percent of the land is so far complete, as of November 10.
Economists suggest that the government should build up an adequate food stock so that rapid market intervention can be made to prevent price fixing by oligopolies, as reports indicate that big business is now betting on certain agricultural products to make a massacre in a fiery market.