Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The country’s overall import orders felt drastically in July, the first month of fiscal year (FY) 2012-13 mainly due to lower import of fertilizer and petroleum products, officials said Wednesday.
Opening of letters of credit (LCs) against imports, generally known as import orders, decreased by over 17 per cent to US$ 2.812 billion in July from $ 3.403 billion of the previous month, according to the central bank statistics. 
The trend of import orders in July was a continuation of that in the last fiscal when the opening of LCs registered a negative growth by 4.01 per cent against a 34.04 per cent growth in the previous fiscal.
“Such a declining trend may continue until December this year as the central bank is working to curb inflation through discouraging credit flow to the unproductive sectors,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN, adding that the country is yet to face any problems despite the declining trend of import orders in the recent months.
The import orders for chemical goods including fertilizer and petroleum products have dropped during the period under review due to the seasonal effect, he said while explaining the main cause of the declining import orders trend in July.
The opening of LCs for fertilizer came down to $ 55.62 million in July from $ 359.91 million in June last while the import orders for petroleum products dropped to $ 255.71 million from $ 319.37 million, the BB data showed.
On the other hand, the settlement of LCs, generally known as actual imports, increased by over 20 per cent to $ 2.864 billion in July 2012 from $ 2.386 billion of the previous month. 
“The settlement of LCs will be slowed down in the near future if the import orders continue to decline,” another BB official said, adding that actual imports of petroleum products and fertilizers have pushed up the settlement of overall LCs in July last.
BBN/SSR/AD-15Aug12-9:29 pm (BST)