Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The country’s overall imports grew by nearly 39 percent in the first two months of the current fiscal, thanks a jump by over 392 per cent increase in import of food grains, officials said.
“The imports 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) told the FE.
Letters of credit (LCs) against imports worth US$4.504 billion were settled during July-August period of fiscal 2010-11 (FY10) compared with $3.248 billion of the corresponding period, according to the central bank statistics.
“The food grains imports have been encouraged during the period aiming to ensure the country’s food security,” the BB official said, adding that the upward trend of import may continue in the near future.
During the period, the import of food grains and other consumer goods increased by 392.76 per cent and 67.24 per cent respectively over the same period of the previous fiscal.
The import of food grains stood at $233.44 million during the period as against $47.37 million of the corresponding period of the previous fiscal while other consumer good rose to $326.66 million from $195.33 million.
Import of capital machinery —industrial equipment used for production — rose 23.09 per cent to $280.61 million, reflecting a rising level of confidence among the entrepreneurs about the country’s future industrial prospects, the central bank officials added.
“Political stability has encouraged entrepreneurs to place higher order for importing capital machinery,” the central bank official said, adding that the upward trend will be continued if the government ensures adequate supplies of gas and power particularly in the industrial units.
However, import of intermediate goods like coal, hard coke, clinker and scrap vessels decreased by 20.55 per cent to $233.81 million during the period from $294.30 million of the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, the BB data showed.
Industrial raw material import rose 42.74 per cent to $1.830 billion during the period under review from $1.282 billion of the corresponding period of the pervious fiscal.
During the period, machinery for miscellaneous industries import witnessed a 36.14 per cent growth to $398.79 million compared with $292.92 million in the same period of the previous fiscal.
On the other hand, import of petroleum products rose by 49.27 per cent to $353.08 million during the period against $236.53 million of the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
BBN/SI/ANS-02Oct10-11:18 am (BST)