CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh Bangladesh rice traders said on Thursday they had started importing 180,000 tonnes of white rice from neighbouring Myanmar.
Some 30,000 tonnes of rice has already been shipped to Chittagong port and the rest will reach the country by early March, they said.
"The prices for the intended rice are between $360 and $390 a tonne, and we think it is cheaper compared to other spots for rice," Omar Azam, general secretary of the Chittagong-based Bangladesh Rice Traders and Importers Association told Reuters.
The Bangladeshi government and private traders started importing rice after crop losses caused by flooding last year.
Food ministry officials have said they would import one million tonnes of rice. They said a contract for about 500,000 tonnes had been awarded and rice had started to reach Bangladesh ports.
The food and disaster management ministry is also negotiating to import some 500,000 tonnes of rice from India under state to state deals.
Cyclone Sidr, which struck Bangladesh's coastline on Nov. 15 last year, and two spells of flooding in July-September destroyed nearly 2.0 million tonnes of rice in the fields, according to official estimates.