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RPT-Bangladesh may struggle to buy much-needed wheat - traders

(Repeats item first published on Friday with no changes to
text)

By Ruma Paul and Michael Hogan

DHAKA/HAMBURG, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Bangladesh has a major
wheat import requirement after floods damaged this year's crops,
but global importers are reluctant to sell to the country due to
tough state purchasing conditions and slow unloading in ports,
traders say.

The country started increasing imports after floods in April
damaged crops, with volumes seen swelling to 6.5 million tonnes
in the year to June 2018.

Bangladesh imported 5.8 million tonnes of wheat in the year
to June 2017, according to its food ministry.

The development should be welcomed by global grain trading
houses, suffering from slack demand and low earnings as the
world in general faces high supplies of cereals.

But when Bangladesh's state buyer issued an international
invitation to tender to purchase 50,000 tonnes of wheat closing
on Aug. 6, only two trading houses submitted offers.

Just three traders offered in another tender for 50,000
tonnes on July 26 and only two offered on July 11.

This compares with 10 or more trading houses offering in
similar tenders from Egypt and Tunisia.

"I am not offering to sell in Bangladesh's wheat tenders,"
one European grain trader said. "There is too high a risk you
could lose money."

"Bangladesh is still able to buy, but as a poor country I
doubt it is getting the lowest prices possible," another trader
said, adding, "I need business but I cannot risk losing money."

In 2015 Bangladesh rejected French wheat shipments after the
government faced criticism for importing poor quality wheat from
Brazil. Later Bangladesh also rejected three shipments of
Russian wheat over quality concerns.

"The big issue is their tough quality standard evaluation
and assessment and the way they examine the quality at unloading
ports. They can also reject part of the consignment and then
it's a nightmare what to do with the rejected wheat," the second
trader said.

Bangladesh's government purchases on cost and freight liner
out terms, which includes costs for ship unloading.

"The liner out terms also increase risks for the grain
exporters," another trader said, with slow unloading at
Bangladeshi ports raising risks for trading houses.

"All these risks add up to hardly anyone offering in
Bangladesh's tenders despite everyone being very keen to find
new business."
(Reporting by Ruma Paul and Michael Hogan; Editing by Veronica
Brown and David Evans)

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