Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh’s overall imports grew by more than 9.0 per cent in the first five months of the current fiscal year (FY), 2013-14, amid the ongoing political uncertainty.
“The overall imports increased during the period under review mainly due to the higher import of food gains, particularly rice and wheat, apart from capital machinery and industrial raw materials,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) explained.
The actual imports in terms of settlement of letters of credit (LCs) increased by 9.01 percent to US$ 14.55 billion during the July-November period of the FY ‘14 from $ 13.34 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.
On the other hand, opening of LCs, generally known as import orders, rose by 8.84 percent to $ 15.45 billion in the first five months of the FY ‘14 from $ 14.20 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
However, the overall imports were hit slightly by the ongoing political turmoil, the central banker admitted.
The country’s overall business activities had been under tremendous pressure since October last because of the recurrent spells of blockade and shutdown programmes, called by the opposition parties over formation of the poll-time government.
“The imports may fall in the coming months, if the political turmoil continues,” the central banker noted.
The actual import of food grains jumped by more than 104 per cent to $ 605.33 million during the July-November period of the FY ‘14 from only $ 296.48 million in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, the BB data showed.
The import of capital machinery increased to $ 948.73 million from $803.12 million, up by more than 18 percent.
Import of intermediate goods, like coal, hard coke, clinker and scrap vessels, increased by 5.72 percent to $1.24 billion during the July-November period of FY ‘14 from $1.17 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
Industrial raw material import rose by 10.80 percent to $ 5.96 billion from $5.38 billion.
However, import of petroleum products dropped by nearly 25 percent to $1.46 billion from $1.94 billion.
“The import of fuel oil may increase in the coming months because of the seasonal effect,” the BB official noted.
The import of machinery for miscellaneous industries witnessed 20 percent growth to $1.43 billion from $1.19 billion.
BBN/SSR/AD-04Jan14-3:45 pm (BST)