Since May, Bangladesh’s grain farmers have had to overcome a cyclone, heavy monsoon rains, and consistent inflow of floodwaters from India. The floods, which started with heavy rainfall on June 17, did not recede until the end of August and have caused Bangladesh’s 200-plus rivers to overflow, impacting over 40 percent of Bangladesh’s landmass. Rice production during the Boro, Aus, and Aman growing seasons was impacted. Corn production was mildly impacted. Wheat production forecasts were not impacted, as wheat is produced during the winter months in Bangladesh.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not had a significant impact on Bangladesh’s MY2020/21 grain production. However, severe weather in Bangladesh, which started in May and ended in August, has impacted Bangladesh’s rice production and moderately impacted Bangladesh’s corn production.
Wheat production, which predominately takes place from November to April in Bangladesh, was not impacted.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted domestic retail prices for rice, wheat flour, and corn primarily because of farmer and miller speculation but also because of minor supply chain disruptions during the Government of Bangladesh’s (GoB’s) COVID-19 lockdown, which ended in May, and restrictions on importing agricultural inputs (e.g., seeds, fertilizer) put in place by exporting countries. The GoB made several announcements over the summer to assuage consumer concerns of any potential food shortages. The GoB has consistently released information about the Government’s grain stock levels and has demonstrated a close monitoring of domestic grain prices.
For MY2020/21, Post’s forecast for harvested area of rice is revised down from an earlier forecast to 11.7 million hectares (28.9 million acres). The MY2020/21 rice production forecast is also revised down to 35.3 MMT. The rice import forecast is increased to 500,000 MT.
For MY2020/21, Post’s forecast for harvested area of wheat, as well as production, is unchanged from the official USDA figure. The wheat import forecast is 6.6 MMT.
For MY2020/21, Post’s forecast for harvested area of corn has been lowered to 0.54 million hectares (1.33 million acres). The MY2020/21 corn production forecast has been revised up from USDA’s official forecast to 4.5 MMT. The corn import forecast has also been slightly increased to 1.5 MMT.