June 20, 2017 / 9:05 AM / 2 months ago

Bangladesh to lower rice import duty, cool local prices – commerce minister

DHAKA, June 20 (Reuters) - Bangladesh will lower duty on rice imports in a bid to cool record-high local prices amid dwindling state reserves, commerce minister said on Tuesday.

The move came when domestic rice prices hit an all-time high in May after flash floods hit local output at a time when state rice stocks are at 10-year lows.

"We have decided to reduce the import duty to 10 percent from the current 28 percent," Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed told reporters.

High demand from Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, could underpin prices in major exporters such as Vietnam, Thailand and India. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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