* Olam’s offer lower than prior tender’s lowest from Glencore
* State grains buyer aims to buy 900,000 T wheat in year to June (Adds stocks details, rice)
DHAKA, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Olam International made the lowest offer of $268.47 a tonne to sell 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh in a tender, an official from the state grains buyer said on Monday.
Five bidders took part in the tender, the second issued by the government’s grain purchasing authority in the current fiscal year which started in July.
The offer from the Singapore-based trading firm, which includes freight, insurance and other expenses, was lower than the lowest offer of $270 a tonne from Glencore in the previous tender last month.
Olam’s 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 Directorate General of Food plans to import 900,000 tonnes of wheat in the current fiscal year.
The state grains buyer has also agreed to buy 250,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat at $297.50 a tonne including cost, freight, insurance and other port-related expenses in a government-to-government deal with Ukraine.
The imports are crucial for the South Asian nation to feed its poor and keep domestic prices stable. Another tender is due to open on Dec. 23.
Apart from the government, private traders bring in 2.5 million to 3 million tonnes of wheat annually to help meet annual demand for more than 4 million tonnes. Bangladesh’s domestic production amounts to nearly 1 million tonnes.
Bangladesh’s reserves of rice and wheat have risen to more than 1.2 million tonnes, from nearly 1 million tonnes a year earlier.
While wheat consumption is rising, rice remains the staple food for Bangladesh’s 160 million people.
Plentiful rice stocks coupled with strong output have prompted the Bangladesh government to come up with an export pact with Sri Lanka, where prices of the grain have shot up after production dropped due to an 11-month drought, which experts consider to be the worst in its recent history. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Himani Sarkar)