Bangladesh's rice import may rise fourfold to five lakh tonnes this year, compared to that in 2013, due to availability of low-priced Indian rice, the US Department of Agriculture said in its April prediction.
However, the US agency had predicted in March that rice import might be three lakh tonnes this year.
Rice production will be 3.55 crore tonnes in the current fiscal year due to increased plantation, against around 3.38 crore tonnes in the previous year, it said.
Rice acreage area has increased year-on-year in Bangladesh, along with Brazil, Myanmar, Cambodia, China, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
“Much of this area expansion is driven by higher government support prices," it said.
The USDA also raised its global rice production forecast for 2013-14 to a record 47.56 crore tonnes, which is eight lakh tonnes higher from the agency's March forecast.
South Asia and Southeast Asia are projected to produce record rice crops on a year-on-year basis, the USDA said.
The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) of Bangladesh also said production area of boro rice, the main cereal crop, increased to 48 lakh hectares this year, from 47.60 lakh hectares a year ago.
The DAE expects a slightly higher boro production than its target of 1.89 crore tonnes set for the current boro season.
The USDA said ending stocks will be higher in Bangladesh for 2013-14.