Rice

Fall In Imports Have Led To Surge In Prices Of Wheat Flour In The Domestic Market Of Bangladesh

Fall in imports have led to rising prices of wheat flour in the domestic market of Bangladesh

Located in South Asia, Bangladesh is struggling to meet its domestic needs for wheat flour. Wheat is the second most consumed cereal after rice in Bangladesh and the sky-high cost of the staple is raising fresh troubles for domestic consumers who are already having a tough time making ends meet.

High prices of wheat flour in the global markets and Bangladesh’s dollar shortage have forced the South Asian nation to cut its imports of wheat flour and as a result, the prices of the commodity have been soaring in the domestic markets of Bangladesh. 

Facts and Figures

From paying Tk 55-58 for a kilogram of loose wheat flour last Sunday, the consumers of wheat flour in the three markets of Dhaka have gone up to pay Tk 65-66 on Thursday for a kg of loose wheat flour. 

Similarly, the prices of packed branded flour have also increased. From Tk 120-125, the prices for a two kg pack of branded wheat flour have gone up to Tk 130-132 in the domestic markets of Bangladesh.

According to the data released by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCP), loose flour retailed at Tk 52 to 55 per kg and packaged ones retailed at Tk 58 to Tk 60 a month ago and when this is taken into account with current prices, a clear spike in prices of wheat flour can be seen.

Reasons Behind Surge In Prices Of Wheat Flour In Bangladesh 

Ukraine and Russia are the biggest Wheat Exporters in the world and the conflict between the two which started in February have made the global wheat market volatile. The disruptions in the supply chain made it difficult for countries around the world to meet their domestic wheat needs. 

Adding to the woes, adverse weather conditions further intensified the food crisis. With limited and dwindling wheat supplies amid high demands, the prices of wheat soared in the global markets.    

Owing to the high prices of wheat, and a shortage of US dollars, Bangladesh had to curtail its import of wheat flour and the limited quantities of wheat flour amid high demand have been the reason for the constant rise in the prices of commodities in Bangladesh. 

Public Reaction

Ranking behind rice, wheat is the second most consumed cereal in Bangladesh and the high prices of wheat flour have made living difficult for the people of Bangladesh who were already struggling to make ends meet. 

Owing to low imports, the prices of both Indian and Canadian wheat have risen by Tk 50 per maund in just one week. Taslim Shahriar, senior assistant general manager of Meghna Group of Industries said that the company bought Russian wheat at $300 in April and the same now has cost the company $400 per tonne. 

He further added that the prices of wheat flour are unlikely to come down anytime soon and based on the global cues, the situation in the coming days will worsen further.

Conclusion

High prices of wheat have forced Bangladesh to limit its imports of wheat flour. According to a report released by the Trade and Tariff Commission of Bangladesh, the south Asian nation only imported 33.04 lakh tonnes of wheat till September 2022, which is 14.11 lakh tonnes less than the volume imported by the country in the same period in 2021.

Low imports and high prices of wheat are likely to hurt the wheat flour market and as a result, the country’s wheat consumption might drop 10% in the current marketing season.

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