Feb 11 (Reuters) – Olam International made the lowest offer to sell 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh for $331.88 a tonne, including freight, insurance and other expenses, in a tender that opened on Monday, an official from the state grains buyer said.
Seven bidders took part in the tender, the ninth issued by the government’s grain purchasing authority in the current fiscal year which ends in June.
Monday’s offer from the Singapore-based trading firm is higher than the lowest offer of $322 a tonne from a Korea-based firm Dong Yank in a previous tender last month.
The offer will be submitted to the cabinet’s purchase committee for approval. The wheat is to be shipped within 40 days after the deal is signed.
The state buyer has so far purchased 400,000 tonnes of wheat in the current financial year.
Apart from the government, private traders import 2.5 million to 3 million tonnes annually to help meet annual demand for more than 4 million tonnes. Bangladesh’s domestic production amounts to nearly 1 million tonnes.
The South Asian country has plentiful rice stocks, but a sudden rise in rice prices recently prompted the commerce ministry to alert district administrators to check whether any unscrupulous traders had been hoarding the staple to make windfall profits.
The government has also shelved a plan to overturn a four-year old ban on rice exports amid soaring prices. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; editing by Anis Ahmed)