Tuesday, May 21, 2024

July-Nov imports up 9pc on food grain influx

The country’s imports increased by 9.01 per cent in the first five months of the current fiscal year 2013-14 compared with that of a negative growth of 13.21 per cent in the corresponding period of the FY 2012-13. According to the latest Bangladesh Bank data, settlement of letters of credit, or generally known as actual imports, stood at $14.54 billion in July-November of the FY14 against that of $13.34 billion in the same period of the FY13.
BB officials told New Age on Thursday that mainly higher import of food grains pushed up the overall imports in July-November of the FY14.
LC opening, or generally known as import orders, in the first five months of the FY14 also posted a growth of 8.84 per cent compared with that of a negative growth of 9.65 per cent in the same period of the FY13.
LCs worth $15.45 billion were opened in July-November of this fiscal year against the LCs worth $14.20 billion opened in the corresponding period of the FY13.
The BB data showed that import of food grains (rice and wheat) increased by 104.17 per cent in July-November of the FY14 compared with that of a 37.83 per cent negative growth in the same period of the FY13.
Settlement of LCs in the first five months of the current fiscal year for rice and wheat was worth $605.33 million against $296.48 million during the same period of the FY13.
A BB official said that the production of rice in the country declined in the last fiscal year which pushed up the import of the staple after the country had enjoyed available food grains in the previous few years.
For the last few years farmers have been alleging that they are failing to recover the production costs, he said.
He said lower prices of the crop in the last few years sent the farmers into a frustrating situation.
The BB data showed that the import of capital machinery increased by 18.13 per cent in July-November of the FY14 compared with that of a negative growth of 28.02 per cent in the same period of the FY13.
Settlement of LCs in the first five months of the FY14 for capital machinery was worth $948.73 million against $803.12 million during the same period of the FY13.
The import of huge amount of capital machinery in recent months has already raised suspicion that money laundering might have occurred in the process, the central banker said.
The import of capital machinery had declined sharply in the FY13 but it increased in the recent months of this financial year despite having unfriendly business environment in the country amid political unrest, he said.
The import of industrial raw materials increased by 10.80 per cent in the first five months of the FY14 compared with that of a negative growth of 6.31 per cent in the same period of the FY13.
Settlement of the LCs in the first five months for the industrial raw materials was worth $5.96 billion against $5.38 billion during the same period of the FY13.
The BB data, however, showed that the import of petroleum products registered a negative growth of 24.85 per cent in the first five months of the FY14 compared with of a negative growth of 11.89 per cent in the corresponding period of the FY13.
Settlement of the LCs in the first five months for the petroleum products was worth $1.46 billion against $1.94 billion during the same period of the FY13.

-With New Age input

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