Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh’s foreign exchange (forex) reserve fell below US$30 billion on Monday after making a routine payment to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) against the imports of the March- April period of the ongoing calendar year.

After the payment, the forex reserve came down to $29.77 billion on the day from $30.95 billion of the previous working day, according to the central bank’s latest figures.

Bangladesh’s forex reserve has been maintaining a falling trend in the last couple of months following higher import payment obligations along with lower flow of inward remittances, the official data showed.

Besides, the central bank continues its foreign-currency support to the banks for settling import-payment obligations, particularly for petroleum products, intermediate goods, fuel oils and capital machinery.

As part of the moves, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) has so far injected nearly $12 billion from the reserves directly into banks particularly the state-owned commercial banks as liquidity support for making import payments in FY’23.

In FY22, the central bank sold $7.62 billion from the reserves to the banks for the same purpose.

Bangladesh’s forex reserves had surged to $48.04 billion on 24 August 2021, setting a new record, from $46.58 billion of the previous working day. The rise was after receiving $1.45 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as general allocation of Special Drawing Right (SDR).

Meanwhile, the amount of ACU payment rose to $1.18 billion during the period under review from $1.05 billion earlier mainly due to lower imports from the ACU member countries, particularly from India.

The central bank has already remitted the fund to the ACU headquarters in Tehran in line with the existing provisions of the union.

Under the existing provisions, outstanding import bills and interest thereof are to be paid by the member countries at the end of every two months.

The ACU is an arrangement involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives through which intraregional transactions among the participating central banks are settled on a multilateral basis.

The union started its operation in November 1975 to boost trade among the member countries. Bangladesh and Myanmar joined the union as the sixth and seventh members in 1976 and 1977 respectively. Bhutan joined the ACU in December 1999 and the Maldives in January 2010.