DHAKA: Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation has delayed by a week the bidding deadline in its first ever international tender to export 50,000 tonnes of refined sugar, a senior corporation official said on Sunday.
The state agency issued the tender last month in which the sugar from locally produced cane will be exported to European Union countries under a preferential quota for the least-developed countries.
"The new deadline to submit offers is Feb. 9," said Harun Mia, purchase chief of the state agency, which had until now imported sugar to build up reserves and rein in domestic prices. He gave no reason for the delay.
In December, the government gave permission to the agency to explore the quota opportunity to cover some losses as production costs are often above the selling price.
Domestic sugar prices have remained stable over the last year.
Bangladesh depends largely on imported sugar to meet annual demand of 1.4 million tonnes as the country produces less than 100,000 tonnes.
Late last year the government also allowed limited exports of sugar for private refiners, who had been calling for overseas sales as they have around 2 million tonnes of refining capacity.
In 2010, the government put an embargo on sugar exports to contain the soaring domestic price of the sweetener.
Private refiners import raw sugar mostly from India, Brazil and Thailand.