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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 24-June-2022


  1. Output of 2022 “Boro” paddy crop estimated at above‑average level

  2. Cereal import requirements in 2022/23 forecast close to five‑year average

  3. Prices of rice in Dhaka generally stable since September 2021

  4. Prices of wheat flour at near‑record levels in May

  5. Food insecurity has deteriorated due to multiple shocks in 2021 and 2022

Output of 2022 “Boro” paddy crop estimated at above‑average level

Harvesting of the 2022 main “Boro” paddy crop, which is mostly irrigated and accounts for about 55 percent of the annual output, finalized in May. The area harvested is estimated above the five‑year average. Generally favourable weather conditions and adequate use of agricultural inputs, such as fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water, supported a bumper yield. Localized damages to standing crops were reported in the northeastern parts of the country due to unseasonably heavy rains and floods in late May. FAO estimates the “Boro” production at 30.3 million tonnes, 5 percent above the five‑year average.

The 2022 minor “Aus” paddy crop, accounting for 10 percent of the annual output and for harvest at the end of June, is growing under favourable weather conditions. The area harvested is forecast at an above‑average level and yields are expected at near‑average levels due to favourable weather conditions and adequate application of agricultural inputs. The agricultural sector, particularly rice production, relies heavily on imports of chemical fertilizers. The government regulates imports and distribution of fertilizers, which are subsidized to ensure their affordability for farmers.

Planting operations of the 2022 “Aman” paddy crop, which accounts for 35 percent of the annual output and is mostly rainfed, has just started and will continue until the end of September. Harvesting operations will take place between next November and January.

The 2022 main “summer” maize crops are expected to be harvested in June and July. The output is forecast at an above‑average level, reflecting an expansion in the area sown, driven by robust demand and high domestic prices. Overall, yields are forecast at an above‑average level supported by generally favourable weather conditions and adequate use of high‑yielding seed varieties. The 2022 secondary “winter” maize crop will be planted towards the end of the year, concerns exist about availability of fertilizers.

The production of the 2022 wheat crop, harvested in April, is official estimated at 1.15 million tonnes, close to the five‑year average.

Cereal import requirements in 2022/23 forecast close to five‑year average

Wheat is the main imported cereal and imports cover 80 percent of the country’s wheat requirements. In the 2022/23 marketing year, wheat import requirements are estimated at 6.7 million tonnes, 6 percent above the five‑year average reflecting the rising demand for food use due to a gradual shift in local diet preferences. Consumption of wheat flour products has tripled since 2000 and currently it accounts for about 10 percent of the total average calories’ intake. Maize import requirements are projected at a near‑record level of 2.5 million tonnes due to the sustained demand for feed by livestock and fish industries. The country is almost self‑sufficient in rice and imports large quantities only when local production is not sufficient to cover domestic needs. In 2022/23 (April/March), imports of rice are forecast at 350 000 tonnes, reflecting bumper harvests in 2021 and favourable production prospects for the 2022 “Boro” crops.

Overall, total cereal import requirements in 2022/23 are forecast at a near‑average level of 9.25 million tonnes.

Wheat flour prices at near‑record levels in May

Prices of wheat has been increasing since August 2021, reflecting high international prices and a slowdown in imports, after the Russian Federation, which accounted for about one‑third of wheat imports between 2016/17 and 2020/21, introduced floating export taxes ( June 2021 ) and quotas ( February 2022 ). The start of the war in Ukraine in late February 2022 has caused further supply disruptions as Ukraine accounted for almost 30 percent of the wheat imports during the last five years. The country has recently relied more on wheat imports from India, but wheat export restrictions announced by Indian authorities on 13 May 2022, caused domestic wheat prices to surge by 16 percent in May compared with the previous month. However, the Government of India announced that exports to neighbouring and food‑deficit countries will continue under a special permission to ensure their food security. Overall, May prices were at near‑record levels and 40 percent higher year on year.

Domestic prices of palm oil, almost entirely imported, have been generally increasing at a steady pace since mid‑2021 and surged by more than 35 percent month on month in May, in response of an export ban implemented by Indonesia, the world’s major producer and exporter of palm oil. Overall, May prices of palm oil were 60 percent above their year‑earlier levels. On 23 May 2022, the Government of Indonesia lifted the ban and reinstated the possibility to export crude palm oil, given the adequate domestic supply (see link for more information).

In the Dhaka market, prices of rice, which account for almost 70 percent of the average calories’ intake, were generally stable since September 2021, reflecting adequate market availabilities from bumper 2021 harvests and favourable production of 2022 “Boro” rice. Overall, in May rice prices were below their year‑earlier levels.

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, in April, the consumer price index (CPI) was estimated at 6.3 percent, while the food component of the CPI increased by 5.5 percent compared to the previous year.

Food insecurity has deteriorated due to multiple shocks in 2021 and 2022

The adverse effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic, in terms of employment losses and decrease in remittances inflows, had a severe impact on the food security situation of a large number of people. According to a report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) published in December 2021, the percentage of households facing mild, moderate and severe food insecurity conditions in rural areas increased from 46 percent before the start of the COVID‑19 pandemic to 68 percent in September‑October 2021. In 2022, food insecurity is expected to increase and remain at high levels due to the impact of recent shocks, including the floods that occurred in mid‑May in the northeastern parts of the country and the elevated international prices of energy, fuel and food, which have been transmitted to the domestic markets. According to the analysis by the Needs Assessment Working Group , the floods have affected approximately 2 million people, particularly in Sylhet and Sunamganj districts, causing deaths and injuries, loss of livestock and food stocks, as well as damages to housing and infrastructure. High prices of several important food items, such as wheat flour, vegetable oil, onion, lentils, garlic, red chilli and beef meat, have been seriously limiting households’ access to food.

Food security remains a concern for about 1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar residing in the country, mostly in the Cox’s Bazar District and on the island of Bhasan Char and relying entirely on humanitarian aid. Most refugees fled into the country following the resurgence of violence in Rakhine State in Myanmar in late August 2017. The influx of refugees adds significant pressure on host communities and the environment as the country is densely populated and at risk of extreme weather events. Refugee and host communities need urgent support and environmentally sound solutions in order to improve food production and access.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.