Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The rate of US dollar in the inter-bank foreign exchange (forex) market hit BDT 84.00 on Monday, despite a continuing upward trend of inward remittance flows, treasury officials said.

The US dollar was quoted at BDT 83.75-BDT 84.00 in the inter-bank foreign exchange (forex) market on the day against the previous working day’s BDT 83.60-BDT 83.75, according to the central bank statistics.

“The local currency has been depreciating against the US dollar in recent months due to short supply of the greenback in the market,” a senior treasury official of a commercial bank told BBN in Dhaka.

Explaining the reason for the short supply of the greenback, the treasury official said higher imports of essential items including fertilizer, edible oil, sugar, raw materials and capital machinery for rental power plants pushed up the demand for the US currency recently.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, however, expects the pressure on foreign currency exchange rate to ease gradually in the near future as there have been higher inflows of inward remittance and a steady growth of export earnings in the recent months.

“The mismatch between supply and demand of the US dollar will be minimized shortly because the country’s overall imports fell by nearly 20 percent last month from the level of November 2011,” a BB senior official said, adding the declining trend of imports may continue in the coming months.

“We expect that the monthly inflow of remittances would touch $1.20 billion by the end of January,” the central banker said, adding that the country received $544.12 million in remittances in the first two weeks of this month.

BBN/SSR/AD-16Jan12-11:45 pm (BST)