Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s overall imports grew by 3.64 per cent in the first half (H1) of this fiscal year (FY) 2015-16 because of falling trend of commodities’ prices, including fuel oil, in the global market, officials said.
The actual import in terms of settlement of letters of credit (LCs) rose to US$20.30 billion during the July-December period of FY 16 from $19.59 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.
On the other hand, opening of LCs, generally known as import orders, dropped by 1.04 per cent to $21.06 billion in the first six months of FY 16 from $21.28 billion in the same period of FY 15, according to the central bank latest statistics.
“The overall imports decreased in terms of value and not in terms of quantity, mainly due to lower prices of commodities in the market,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) explained.
He also said such falling trend of imports may continue in the near future, if the downward trend in prices of essential commodities, including petroleum products, persists in the global market.
The import of petroleum products dropped by 29.47 per cent to $1.44 billion during the first six months of the FY 16 from $2.04 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal due to lower prices of fuel oils in the international market.
The import of consumer goods came down to $2.33 billion during the period under review from $2.42 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.
On the other hand, import of food-grains, particularly that of rice and wheat, also dropped by 8.08 per cent to $625.18 million during H1 of FY 16 from $680.11 million in the same period of FY 15.
The import of capital machinery or industrial equipments used for production rose by 14.75 per cent to $1.69 billion during the first six months of this fiscal against $1.47 billion of the same period of the previous fiscal.
Talking to BBN, another BB official said higher import for different sectors, including power and energy, garment, pharmaceutical, telecom, food-processing, ship-building and packing industry, have contributed to raise the overall capital machinery import during H1 of FY 16.
The import of intermediate goods, like – coal, hard coke, clinker and scrap vessels, increased by 5.93 per cent to $1.67 billion during the first six months of FY 16 from $1.57 billion in the same period of FY 15.
On the other hand, the import of industrial raw materials rose by only 0.52 per cent to $7.66 billion in the first six months of FY 16 from $7.63 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.
During the period in FY 16, the import of machinery for miscellaneous industries witnessed a 10.06 per cent growth to $2.19 billion from $1.99 billion in the same period of FY 15.

BBN/SSR/AD