Bangladesh’s rice production for the 2019/20 marketing year is forecast lower, following reductions to the planted area of Aus season rice (harvested between July-August) and crop damages as a result of flooding. The planted area for the Aus rice was reduced due to farmers shifting to more competing crops such as jute, maize and vegetable cultivation. Moreover, the monsoon season in Bangladesh brought heavy rains at the beginning of July, resulting in flooding and landslides, affecting roughly 28 districts out of 64. The floods are expected to have destroyed or damaged most agriculture.
According to a report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Bangladesh rice production is anticipated to fall by at least 100,000 tonnes from the previous forecast of 35.3 million for 2019/20. Imports of rice by Bangladesh are also anticipated to drop for a third consecutive year in 2019/20, to a total of 100,000 tonnes, down from 550,000 the previous year. The substantial decline was attributed to the recovery in Bangladesh’s production, which would ensure sufficient supplies for domestic consumption. Besides, imported rice became less attractive after the government’s decision in May of raising import duty on rice to 55%, adding further downward pressure to imports. However, with production being revised down, imports number is likely to be revised up in the next month.