Bangladesh's agricultural imports from the US are on the rise thanks to the growing demand for processed food among the middle-class, the US Department of Agriculture said in a recent publication.
Between 2012 and 2015, Bangladesh imported $498 million worth of agricultural products from the US, placing it higher than Pakistan on the list.
Baking inputs, mixes, puddings and condensed milk account for 79 percent of the imports from the US, the USDA said in its Global Agricultural Information Network Report, 'Exporter's Guide Bangladesh-2016'.
In 2015, Bangladesh imported processed food worth $15.8 million from the US.
“More opportunities for intermediary products and food ingredient imports may be found in Bangladesh's food manufacturing, modern retail, and hotel restaurants and institutions sectors.”
The report, citing Household Income and Expenditure Survey of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, said although rice is the major staple, demand for more expensive animal and plant proteins have grown for both rural and urban households.
The demand has grown for vegetable oil, chicken, eggs, fish and milk, said the USDA report, referring to the HIES.