Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s overall imports fell further in February following lower prices of fuel oil in the global market and the political turmoil, officials said.
“The falling trend of imports, in value terms, continued in February 2015 mainly due to lower prices of petroleum products in the international market and the prolonged political unrest,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka on Sunday.
Opening of letters of credit (LCs) against imports, generally known as import orders, decreased by 9.41 per cent to US$ 3.05 billion in February last from $3.37 billion in the corresponding period of the previous calendar year, the BB data showed.
On the other hand, the settlement of LCs, generally known as actual imports, dropped by 4.89 per cent to $2.71 billion during the period under review from $2.85 billion in the same period in the previous year.
The central banker also said the overall imports may fall further in the coming months if the ongoing political turmoil continues.
The overall imports started a declining trend in the month of January last mainly due to the political turmoil.
The import orders for fuel oils dropped by 61.34 per cent to $172.90 million in February 2015 from $448.25 million in the same month of the last calendar year.
Besides, import order of different essential items including scrap vessels, raw cotton and capital machinery decreased during the period under review, the BB official added.
Import orders for scrap vessels came down to $23.48 million in February last from $69.62 million in the corresponding period of 2014 while raw cotton import orders fell to $180 million from $236.47 million.
The import orders for capital machinery also came down to $194.50 million in February last from $198.24 million in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The central banker also said back-to-back import orders for readymade garment (RMG) products including fabrics and accessories increased in last month despite the political unrest.
During the period, the back-to-back import orders for RMG products including fabrics and accessories rose to $480.89 million from $466.26 million in the corresponding of 2014.
BBN/SSR/AD-22Mar15-11:38 pm (BST)