Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The country’s overall import recorded a significant rise in January over the previous month of the last calendar year, mainly due to increase in import of fuel oils, officials said on Monday.
“The overall import increased in January 2011 mainly due to rise in import of petroleum products,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said, adding that the import orders for fuel oils rose in January for harvesting of Boro crop across the country.
The import orders for petroleum products increased by 26.53 per cent to $418.03 million in January 2012 from $330.39 million in December 2011, while the LCs against imports worth $264.20 million were settled in January against $213.85 million in December. 
Opening of letters of credit (LCs) against imports, generally known as import orders, increased by 11.67 per cent in January over December last, according to the central bank statistics.
On the other hand, the settlement of LCs, generally known as actual imports, also jumped by 28.04 percent in period under review over the previous month.
The LCs against imports worth $2.814 billion were opened in the first month of this calendar year, against $2.519 billion of the previous month while the import LCs worth US$3.173 billion were settled in January, compared to $2.478 billion in December.
“The amount of import settlement has increased significantly in January, as some importers have paid pre-matured import payments to avoid their foreign exchange valuation adjustment loss,” another central banker said.
He also said the country’s overall import may fall, as there is no possibility to pay any major import bill in the current month.
BBN/SSR/AD-13Feb12-12:02pm (BST)