Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh’s overall import orders dropped further in November last from the level of the previous month of this calendar year mainly due to lower import of food grains, officials said.
“The country’s overall import orders fell during the period under review mainly due to drop in the import of food grains, particularly that of a significant decline in import of rice,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, said.
The opening of fresh letters of credit (LCs) against imports, generally known as import orders, fell by 10.31 percent in November from the level, in value terms, of that of the previous month of the current calendar year. The fall was recorded at 22.55 percent in October this year.
The BB official also said import orders for wheat were increased in November to meet the growing demand for the food item.
The import orders for wheat rose to $117.80 million in November from $19.84 million of the previous month, according to the central bank statistics.
A total of 3.0 million tons of wheat will be imported this year against demand for 4.0 million tons for the food grain, the central bank official said, adding that Bangladesh has been able to produce only1.0 million tons of wheat this year.
The settlement of LCs, generally known as actual imports, increased by over 5.0 per cent during the period over that of the previous month of this year, according to the central bank statistics.
The LCs worth $2.47 billion were opened in November, 2011 compared to $2.76 billion in October, 2011 while the LCs against imports worth $3.09 billion were settled in November against $2.93 billion in October last, the BB’s data showed.
The import orders for petroleum products dropped significantly in November over the previous month mainly due to the seasonal effect¸ the central banker said, adding that the import orders for fuel oils may rise in the coming months for harvesting of Boro crop across the country.
The import orders for petroleum products dropped by 19.20 per cent to $398.73 million in November, 2011 from $493.52 million in October last while the LCs against imports worth $520.58 million were settled in November, 2011 against $499.51 million in October last.
Opening of LCs for import of capital machinery declined by over 47 percent to $99.41 million in November, 2011, compared to $146.59 million of the previous month, another BB official said.
Bankers, however, said the current declining trend about import orders may continue this month as the calendar year is approaching its closure.
BBN/SSR/AD-13Dec11-10:38 am (BST)