Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh’s overall imports grew by over 42 percent in the first quarter (Q1) of the current fiscal, thanks to a jump by 228.71 percent increase in import of food grains.

“The country’s ports increased during the period mainly due to higher import of food grains, other essential items including petroleum products and capital machinery to meet the domestic demand,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said.

Letters of credit (LCs) against imports worth US$ 6.915 billion were settled during July-September period of fiscal 2010-11 (FY10) compared to $4.847 billion in the last corresponding period, according to the central bank statistics.

Import of petroleum products grew by 67.20 per cent to $591.34 million during the period against $353.67 million of the corresponding period in the previous fiscal.

During the period, the import of food grains and other consumer goods increased by 228.71 per cent and 46.97 per cent respectively over the same period in the previous fiscal.

The import of food grains stood at $352.30 million during the period as against $107.17million in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, while other consumer goods rose to $451.66 million from $307.32 million.

Import of capital machinery — industrial equipment used for production — was up by 36.87 per cent to $462.05 million, reflecting a rising level of confidence among the entrepreneurs about the country’s future industrial prospects, the central bank officials said.

“The upward trend of capital machinery imports will continue if the government ensures adequate supplies of gas and power, particularly in the industrial units,” another BB official noted.

Industrial raw material import grew by 41.85 per cent to $2.703 billion during the period under review from $1.905 billion in the corresponding period of the pervious fiscal.

During the period, import of machinery for miscellaneous industries witnessed a 42.34 per cent rise to $613.01 million compared to $430.66 million in the same period of the previous fiscal.

On the other hand, import of intermediate goods like coal, hard coke, clinker and scrap vessels decreased by 16.63 per cent to $374.58 million during the period from $449.29 million in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, the BB data showed.

BBN/SSR/SI-29Oct10-3:24 pm (BST)