Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The country’s overall imports grew by only 1.32 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of the current fiscal year (FY), 2015-16 due mainly to higher import of capital machinery, officials said.
The actual import in terms of settlement of letters of credit (LCs) rose to US$9.92 billion during the July-September of FY 16 from $9.80 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank latest statistics.
On the other hand, opening of LCs, generally known as import orders, dropped by 9.75 per cent to $ 9.78 billion in the Q1 of FY 16 from $10.83 billion in the same period of the FY 15.
“The existing trend of overall imports may continue in the coming months if the downward price of essential commodities including petroleum products in the global market continues,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, explained.
Import of capital machinery or industrial equipment used for production rose by 18.68 per cent to $820.51 million during the period under review against $691.36 million of the corresponding period of FY 15.
He also said higher import for power and energy, food processing, garment, leather, pharmaceuticals, steel and engineering industries have contributed to raise the overall capital machinery imports during the period under review.
The import of petroleum products dropped by 52.17 per cent to $601.42 million during the Q1 of FY 16 from $1.26 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal mainly due to lower prices of fuel oils in the global market.
The import of consumer goods came down to $1.08 billion in the Q1 of the FY 16 from $1.17 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.
On the other hand, food-grain imports, particularly of rice and wheat, increased by 0.45 per cent to $301.06 million during the period from $299.72 million in the same period of the FY 15.
Industrial raw material import fell by 3.21 per cent to $ 3.62 billion during the period under review from $3.74 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.
Talking to BBN, another BB official said it’s a bad signal for the economy as falling trend of industrial raw materials may hamper overall productions in the near future.
However, import of intermediate goods, like – coal, hard coke, clinker and scrap vessels, rose by 3.06 per cent to $775.28 million in the Q1 of the current FY from $752.29 million in the corresponding period of the FY 15.
During the period, the import of machinery for miscellaneous industries witnessed a 27.88 per cent growth to $1.24 billion from $967.93 million in the same period of the FY 15.

BBN/SSR/AD