Business Today

After eight and a half months, the shipment of wheat from Russia to the port

After eight and a half months, wheat import from Russia has started. A ship named MV Sealak-2 has reached Chittagong port with about 52 thousand 845 tons of wheat from Russian port. This wheat release started yesterday Thursday. Wheat has been imported by the Food Department.

This is the first shipment of five lakh tonnes of wheat that the government is buying from Russia. The Cabinet Committee on Government Procurement approved the purchase of 500,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia on September 1. The food department contracts to purchase this wheat on government level contract basis (JTUG).

The import of wheat from Russia at high prices was criticized. Prothom Alo published a report titled ‘Government buys Russian wheat at high prices’. According to the report, the government is buying wheat at a price of 50 dollars per ton higher than the market price.

According to customs sources, the import price of the first shipment of wheat from Russia fell to $430 per ton. This wheat was exported by the Russian state-owned enterprise LLC OZK Trading.

According to Chittagong port and shipping agent sources, the ship left Novorossiysk port in Russia on September 17. Yesterday, Thursday, the ship reached the waters of the port. 31 thousand 707 tons of wheat will be discharged from the ship at Chittagong port. The remaining 21 thousand 138 tons will be discharged at Mongla port.

Movement and storage controller of the food department. Abdul Quader told Prothom Alo on Friday that the evacuation of the ship in Qutubdia started on Thursday by small ships.

The last import of wheat from Russia was on January 27 this year. Akiz Essential Limited imports a shipment of 10 thousand tons of wheat. Wheat imports stopped when the Russia-Ukraine war broke out. This is the first shipment to the port. The private sector has not yet started importing wheat from Russia-Ukraine. According to a source of traders, a private company has opened a letter of credit for importing wheat from Russia. The shipment has not yet reached the port.

Wheat is the second major food grain in Bangladesh after rice. Most of the food other than rice is made from wheat. Common durum wheat for making flour is the biggest import in the country. One of the sources of these wheats is Russia-Ukraine and India.
Before the Russia-Ukraine war, most wheat was imported from Russia. In the fiscal year 2020-21, 27 percent of the total imports were brought from the country.

It fell to six-and-a-half percent last fiscal year as shipping rates rose and imports stopped after the war. Most of the demand for wheat is met by imports. According to the Board of Revenue, the country imported 62 lakh tonnes of wheat in the last financial year.

The wheat stock in the hands of the government is now the lowest. The government is trying to increase the stock of wheat by importing. As a part of this, the government imported about 150,000 tons of wheat from Bulgaria at 460 dollars per ton. Wheat shipments from Bulgaria are still being unloaded. Again, if the shipment of Russian wheat arriving at the port is released, the wheat stock in the hands of the government will increase. The remaining shipment of 450,000 tons from Russia is expected to reach the country in December.