Prices of both rice and paddy declined moderately by Tk 3.0-4.0 a kg in last three days in the milling-hubs, which traders attributed to a notable rise in supply of imported grain.
Release of a large chunk of coarse hybrid paddy and rice by big millers, traders and rich farmers also helped cut rice prices, said insiders.
But retail prices of the staple food - maintaining the previous high - were almost static in the city markets, as coarse rice was sold at Tk 48-50 a kg, medium Tk 55-58 a kg and finer Tk 65-78 a kg depending on varieties, according to several groceries.
Coarse hybrid rice prices plunged to Tk 37.5-38 a kg, imported coarse rice Guti Swarna declined to Tk 40-41 a kg in Naogaon, Jaypurhat, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Kushtia and Pabna in last three days, according to the Bangladesh Auto Major Husking Mill Owners Asso-ciation.
Medium-variety BRRI dhan 28 price was recorded at Tk 45-45.5 a kg and finer zira/miniket at Tk 51-53 a kg.
Dhaka wholesale markets, including Badamtoli, Babubazar and Mohammadpur Krishi Market, also showed a Tk 1.0-2.0 decline a kg during the period.
Kamrul Islam, proprietor of Ekota Enterprise at Badamtoli wholesale in the city, said BRRI-28 was selling at Tk 48-49 a kg now, which was Tk 50-51 a kg a few days back.
He also said coarse and medium rice showed the utmost fall, as imported grains flooded the market.
Shamsul Hoque, a Nilphamari-based rice miller, said many millers, traders and rich farmers started releasing their stocks of hybrid paddy and rice in a large volume, following entrance of imported products.
They also opined that the beginning of Aman (early variety) harvest from October might cause further reduction in prices of the grain.
He said hybrid paddy - whose supply was much lower - now repapered in the market. Its price also declined by Tk 150 a maund (40 kg), and was selling at Tk 850-Tk 900 a maund.
BRRI-28 paddy was selling at Tk 950-1,000 a maund now from Tk 1,100-1,150 a maund earlier.
It seemed that the importers could hardly make any profit now, he added.
T M Rashed Khan, assistant director of the state-run Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM), said the government's rice and paddy purchase completed in August.
After that, many millers and traders, who stored a large chunk of paddy to supply to the government, started releasing those.
It is happening at a time when the government has also allowed the private entities to import 1.7 million tonnes of rice within October.
He said these caused a supply glut of the staple, which could also affect the farmers, expecting to start harvesting Aman crop from next month.
Agricultural economist Prof Golam Hafeez Kennedy said the government should declare to buy 2.5 to 3.0 million tonnes of grain in the Aman purchase season, following a moderate success in the just-ended Boro procurement.
The government's large purchase would prevent the biggies from any foul play.
The open market sale (OMS) of rice across the country also put a positive impact on grain market this month, he added.
According to the Ministry of Food, private and public sectors are bringing more than 4,000 tonnes of rice a day from different sources.
The ministry data showed private sector brought 81,000 tonnes in the last three weeks (until Sept 20).
The government also imported 0.32 million tonnes of rice in the current financial year so far, added the ministry.
The public warehouses also have 1.7 million tonnes of food-grains, of which rice and paddy comprises 1.55 million tonnes.