Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s overall import payments grew by 23.18 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of the current fiscal year (FY), mainly due to nearly 102 per cent increase in oil import bill, officials said.
Letters of credit (LCs) against imports worth US$8.530 billion were settled during July-September period of FY’12 compared with those valued at $6.924 billion of the corresponding period of last fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.
“The overall imports payment marked a significant growth as fuel import bill almost hit the roof in the first quarter of FY12,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said, adding that the rising trend in petroleum products import is likely to continue in the coming months to meet the growing demand from the oil-based power plants across the country.
The cost of petroleum products import stood US$1.195 billion during the period up from $592.08 million over the same period of the previous fiscal.
“The actual import of other essential items including industrial raw materials, intermediate goods and capital machinery also increased significantly during the period to meet the domestic demand,” the central banker said.
He also said fresh opening of LCs for capital machinery import decreased during the period as placing of import orders for different types of capital machinery including rental plants have declined recently.
The import orders for capital machinery declined by over 37 per cent to $501.80 million in the Q1 of FY’12 from $799.69 million in the corresponding period of the pervious fiscal, the BB data showed.
Food import declined during the period under review as the country has built enough stock for the main staple rice after a bumper Boro crops in May this year, the central banker said, adding that it’s a good sign for the economy.
The BB figures show that import of food grains such as rice and wheat fell by 3.19 per cent to $341.07 million in the first quarter over the same period last fiscal.
Actual import of capital machinery — industrial equipment used for production — rose by 29.30 per cent to $597.44 million during the period against $462.05 million of the corresponding period of FY ’11.
Industrial raw material import increased by 15.64 per cent to $3.12 billion during the period under review from $2.70 billion of the corresponding period of the pervious fiscal.
However, import of intermediate goods like coal, hard coke, clinker and scrap vessels increased by 84.88 per cent to $704.54 million during the period from $381.08 million of the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
During the period, the import of machinery for miscellaneous industries witnessed a 26.27 per cent growth to $776.13 million compared with that of $614.65 million in the same period of the previous fiscal.
BBN/SSR/AD-30Oct11-10:25 am (BST)