Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh’s overall imports grew by 43.82 percent in the first seven months of this fiscal, thanks to a jump by over 86 per cent in import of food grains, officials said.
Letters of credit (LCs) against imports worth US$ 18.059 billion were settled during July-January period of fiscal 2010-11 (FY11) compared to $12.557 billion in the last corresponding period, according to the central bank statistics.
“The overall imports increased during the period under review due to higher import of food grains, other essential items including petroleum products, industrial raw materials and capital machinery to meet the domestic demand,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka on Wednesday.
He also said import of food grains, particularly rice and wheat, rose significantly in terms of both value and quantity in the period to ensure the country’s food security.
“The importers have been encouraged to open LCs for food grains,” the BB official said, adding that the central bank provides foreign exchange support to the banks for settlement of food grains import payments
The import of food grains stood at $882.68 million during the period against $474.94 million in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, while other consumer goods came down to $953.17 million from $996.60 million.
Import of petroleum products grew by 55.99 percent to $1.804 billion during the period against $1.156 billion of the corresponding period in the previous fiscal.
“Petroleum products import may increase further in the coming months to meet soaring demand for irrigation and oil-based power plants,” the BB official added.
Import of capital machinery — industrial equipment used for production — was up by 41.64 percent to $1.181 billion, reflecting a rising level of confidence among the entrepreneurs about the country’s future industrial prospects, the BB official noted.
However, industrial raw material import grew by 53.70 percent to $7.176 billion during the period under review from $4.668 billion in the corresponding period of the pervious fiscal.
Import of intermediate goods like coal, hard coke, clinker and scrap vessels deceased by 0.03 percent to $1.119 billion during the period from $1.120 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
During the period, import of machinery for miscellaneous industries witnessed a 48.74 percent rise to $1.573 billion compared to $1.058 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, the BB data showed.
BBN/SI/AD-30Mar11-6:36 pm (BST)
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