Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Opening of letters of credit (LCs) for imports increased by 21.15 per cent during the first 18 days of September against the corresponding period of the previous year, officials said.

Import LCs worth US$ 1.362 billion were opened during the period as against $1.124 billion of the same period of last year, according to the central bank of Bangladesh statistics, released on Thursday.

The opening of import LCs of some essential items including sugar, wheat and onion rose during the period while rice, milk food, edible oil and pulses marked a fall, they added.

“The import of food grains including rice and pulses has significantly declined recently despite the overall import going up,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in Dhaka on Sunday.

He also said the opening of LCs for essentials including edible oil will increase after the global market stabilizes.

The BB’s data showed that the opening of LCs for wheat increased by $53.05 million to $101.44 million in terms of value while sugar by $4.59 million to $9.79 million.

On the other hand, the opening of LCs for rice dropped by $49.47 million to $0.05 million in terms of value, for milk food by $0.55 million to $8.07 million, for pulses by $29.67 million to $1.84 million while edible oil by $71.04 million to $14.74 million during the period.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-28September08-9:20 PM (BST)