Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s overall import recorded a significant rise in January this year over the previous month of the last calendar year due mainly to increase food grains imports, officials said on Saturday. 
“The country’s overall import increased during the period under review due mainly to increase food grains along with fuel oils imports,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka. 
Opening of letters of credit (LCs) against imports, generally known as import orders, jumped by over 16 percent during the period over the previous month, according to the central bank statistics. 
On the other hand, the settlement of LCs, generally known as actual imports, also increased by nearly 10 percent during the period under review over the previous month.
The BB official also said the petroleum products import may rise in the coming months to meet the growing demand for fuel oils during the ongoing boro cultivation season.
The import LCs worth US$3.132 billion were settled in the month of January compared to $2.849 billion in December 2010 while the LCs against imports worth $3.842 billion were opened in the first month of this calendar year against $3.311 billion of the previous month, the BB data showed. 
“The rising trend of overall import may continue this month,” the BB official said, quoting the latest imports data. 
Bankers said the country’s overall imports including capital machinery essential commodities and power plant related imports are respected to increase in the month of February.
“The country’s overall import remain at higher level with a rise in prices of commodities including wheat, petroleum products, edible oil, sugar and other food grains in the global market,” a senior official of a commercial bank said.
BBN/SSR/AD-19Feb11-8:33 pm (BST)