BENGALURU: Rice exporters see a pick-up in demand for the Indian cereal from Bangladesh as the recent floods in that Country have impacted output and sent prices high. Also, a drought in Sri Lanka has resulted in improved demand for the finer varieties such as sona masuri, exporters said.
Bangladesh recently floated three tenders to import about 1.5 lakh tonnes of white rice and par-boiled rice. A fourth tender is expected in July 1st week, trade sources said.
“We expect that both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka may pick up a couple of lakh tonnes this year,” said BV Krishna Rao, Managing Director of Pattabhi Agro Pvt Ltd, a rice exporter in Kakinada.
“Though they are not big buyers when compared to African nations, the demand from the immediate neighbours has helped improve the sentiment, resulting in a firming trend in export prices,” he said.
Export prices have improved by about 15 per cent since the beginning of the year. As against FOB price of $360-370 per tonne in January, prices of white rice have now moved to between $420 and $430 a tonne.