DHAKA, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation has issued its first tender to export 50,000 tonnes of sugar to European Union countries under a quota system, a senior corporation official said on Thursday.
The deadline to submit offers is Feb. 2, said Harun Mia, purchase chief of the state agency, which had until now imported sugar to build up reserves and rein in domestic prices.
The 50,000 tonnes of sugar from locally produced cane will be exported to EU countries under a preferential quota for the least-developed countries.
Early last month the government gave permission to the corporation to export the sugar, Mia said.
"It would cover some losses of the corporation as sugar production cost is often higher than the selling rate," he said.
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. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Anis Ahmed and Alison Birrane)