Friday, June 21, 2024

Import payments fall by 9pc in July–May

The country’s import bill payment registered a negative growth in the first 11 months of the immediate past financial year on year-on-year basis as the import of capital machinery, industrial raw materials, food grains and petroleum products declined sharply.
According to the latest BB data released on Wednesday, the overall import bill payment in July–May of the FY 2012–13 posted a negative growth of 9.09 per cent compared with that of 10.93 per cent growth during the corresponding period of the FY 12.
A BB official told New Age on Wednesday that an unfavorable business situation and the cautious policy taken by the scheduled banks in their import- and export-related business had declined the import payment.
The settlement of letters of credit or import bill payment in July–May of the FY 13 stood at $29.48 billion against that of $32.42 billion in the same period of the FY 12. The import bill payment in the first 11 months of the FY 11 was $29.32 billion.
The BB data showed that growth in settlement of the LCs for industrial raw materials and capital machinery had registered a negative growth — 3.09 per cent for industrial raw materials and 14.23 per cent for capital machinery — in July–May of the FY 13.
Growth in settlement of LCs for industrial raw materials was 10.45 per cent and that for capital machinery was 23.57 per cent in July–May of the FY 12.
Settlement of LCs in the first 11 months of the FY 13 for industrial raw materials was worth $12 billion and that for capital machinery $1.95 billion.
LC settlement for industrial raw materials was worth $12.38 billion and that for capital machinery worth $1.28 billion in the first 11 months of the FY 12.
The BB official said the recent spates of political unrest had hit the import of industrial raw materials and capital machinery as the businesspeople had taken a ‘wait and see’ approach to expand their investment.
The dwindling situation of the import payments for the two products had already created an adverse impact on the expected GDP growth in the just concluded FY.
According to the Bureau of Bangladesh Statistics, the country’s provisional GDP growth was 6.03 per cent in the FY 13 although the government set a growth rate of 7.2 per cent.
The central bank data showed that LC settlement or actual import payment for food grains (rice and wheat) in July–May of the FY 13 had posted a negative growth of 30.49 per cent from a negative growth of 54.16 per cent in the same period of the FY 12.
LC settlements for food grains in the first 11 months of the FY 13 were worth $580.39 million against $834.93 million in the same period of the previous FY.
The import of food grains decreased significantly in the period due to a bumper production in the last few harvesting sessions.
The import of petroleum and petroleum-products also registered a negative growth of 9.06 per cent in the first 11 months of the FY 13 from that of the corresponding period in the FY 12.
LC settlement for petroleum and petroleum products in July-May of the FY 13 were worth $3.93 billion against $4.32 billion during the same period of the FY 12.
Another BB official said that majority of the scheduled banks had recently taken a cautious policy in sanctioning and disbursing loan after scams of the Hallmark Group and the Bismillah Group.
Some banks imposed higher margin for clients to open fresh letters of credit which negatively hit the overall import payments, he said.
The lower import bill payment played a significant role in declining the private sector credit growth in the first 11 months of the FY 13.
The credit growth in May last decreased to 11.43 per cent compared with that of 18.40 per cent in the corresponding month of the FY 12.
The BB data showed that the opening of overall LCs
had also registered a negative growth of 1.53 per cent in July–May of the FY 13 compared with that of a negative growth of 6.35 per cent per cent in the same period of the FY 12.
LC opening in July–May of the FY 13 stood at $33.11 billion against $33.63 billion during the same period of the FY 12.

-With New Age input

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