Bangladesh

GIEWS Country Brief: Bangladesh 28-October-2015

Attachments

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Aggregate rice production in 2015 forecast at record level

  • Cereal imports in 2015/16 marketing year (July/June) forecast to decrease considerably

  • Rice and wheat prices well below their year-earlier levels

  • Floods affect households in southern parts of the country

Aggregate rice production in 2015 forecast at record level

Harvesting of the 2015 “aman’’ season rice crop, accounting for some 40 percent of annual output, is expected to start in November and will continue until mid-December. Overall, widespread abundant rains during the cropping season were beneficial for crop development, although the passage of Cyclone ‘’Komen’’ on 30 July reportedly triggered some localized floods across southeastern parts of the country, causing minor damage to crops. FAO currently forecasts the 2015 ‘’aman’’ season rice production at 19.6 million tonnes, 1 percent below the 2014 record of the corresponding season. Increased yields are expected to partially offset a 2 percent contraction in the area planted, in response to low domestic prices at sowing time. Harvesting of 2015 ‘’boro’’ and ‘’aus’’ seasons rice crops were completed earlier in the year. The ‘’boro’’ production is officially set at a record level of 28.8 million tonnes as a result of higher plantings and the ‘’aus’’ output is estimated to remain close to last year’s level. Overall, FAO currently forecasts the 2015 aggregate rice production at 51.9 million tonnes, close to 2014 record level.

Latest official estimates for the 2015 minor winter wheat crop, harvested by April, indicate a 2 percent higher output of 1.35 million tonnes. This increase reflects a slight expansion in plantings, largely attributed to overall attractive prices.

Cereal imports in 2015/16 marketing year forecast to decrease considerably from last year’s record

In aggregate, the country’s cereal imports for the current 2015/16 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 4.3 million tonnes, 19 percent down from last year’s record level. The decrease reflects lower rice imports in the 2015/16 marketing year (April/March), which are forecast to decline to 570 000 tonnes from the 1.5 million tonnes of the previous year, in line with the expected record production this year and large carryover stocks. Wheat imports are forecast to remain close to last year’s high level at 3.7 million tonnes, due to high domestic demand and based on the current expectations that the Government will continue its efforts to restore stocks for the public distribution programmes.

Rice and wheat prices well below their year-earlier levels

Domestic rice prices were stable for the fourth consecutive month in September and were well below their year-earlier levels, reflecting adequate supplies from the recently-completed ‘’aus’’ harvest and large rice imports by the private sector in recent months. Prices of mostly imported wheat flour have been decreasing since the beginning of the year and were below their year-earlier levels as a result of a record crop this year coupled with high import volumes by the private sector since the beginning of the year. Continuing distribution by the Government through open market sales also put downward pressure on wheat prices.

Floods affect households in the southern parts of the country

According to estimates of a Joint Needs Assessment conducted in cooperation with the Government of Bangladesh, representatives from UN agencies as well as NGOs, over 1.8 million people have been severely affected by the recent floods and the passage of Cyclone “Komen” . Severe damage to housing and infrastructure, including roads and bridges has also been reported. In addition, losses of stored food and livestock are likely to be high in the most affected areas, resulting in a deterioration of the food security situation of the affected population