Rice prices rise on flash floods in Sylhet (Bangladesh).

Rice prices edged up as large millers are cashing in on crop losses, caused by the recent flash floods in the greater Sylhet region, amid depleting stocks from previous harvests and low imports. In Dhaka, retail prices of coarse rice such as the swarna variety ise to a new level of Tk 40-42/kg, up 6.49% from Tk 37-40 a week ago. Prices of the medium and fine categories of the staple also went up between 1.96 percent and 4.65 percent in the last one week. The flood has affected 1.40 lakh hectares of paddy in the fields. Speculation over delayed harvest for the bad weather is another reason for the recent price spiral as farmers, small and medium millers and wholesalers do not have paddy stocks. Govt can reduce the import duty on rice to encourage imports and increase the supply in the market. Rice imports by private traders slumped 65 percent to 76,600 tonnes in July-March of the current fiscal year from the same time last year, after the government hiked the duty from 20% to 28% to ensure that growers get fair prices for their produce.