Import drops by 6pc
Food import, however, jumpsAKM Zamir Uddin
The country’s overall import dropped significantly in August despite huge amount of imports of food products in the period.
According to the latest Bangladesh Bank data, the settlement of letters of credit, generally known as actual import, registered a negative growth of 6.03 per cent in August compared with that of a 2.28 per cent growth in the corresponding month of 2012.
The country imported products worth $2.33 billion in August this year whereas it imported products worth $2.48 billion in August last year.
A BB official told New Age that the import of food products increased significantly in the first two months of this fiscal year as the businesspeople moved to build stocks of essential commodities, keeping an eye on the political situation ahead of the next general elections.
‘But, the overall import decreased in last month due to lower import of petroleum and petroleum products, chemical products, motor vehicles,’ he said.
The official said the import might decline further in the months to come if the political instability persists.
The BB data showed that the import of rice, wheat, edible oil, pulses and onion rose in August compared with that of the corresponding month of 2012.
The import of rice increased to $21.40 million in August 2013 from $4.44 million in August 2012, that of wheat to $83.64 million from $45.44 million, that of edible oil (refined) to $32.69 million from $8.05 million, that of edible oil (crude) to $56.64 million from $17.91 million, that of pulses $38.62 million from $28.67 million and that of onion $10.68 million from $6.96 million.
Most of the importers of essential items fear that imports may be disrupted amid political violence ahead of the general elections, the BB official said.
He said that the overall import in July this year increased as the businesspeople had taken precautionary measures amid political uncertainty.
The BB data showed that the import of petroleum products decreased to $123.73 million in August this year from $403.42 million in August last year, that of chemical products to $135.19 million from $204.86 million, that of motor vehicles to $42.58 million from $37.86 million, and that of textile accessories to $3.54 million from $3.66 million.
The BB data, however,
showed that the import order, or LCs opening, increased by 8.51 per cent in August this year compared with that of a negative growth of 14.80 per cent in the corresponding month of 2012.
The BB official said that the import order in the last month increased due to an increased trend in LCs opening for food products.
In August 2013, LCs worth $2.69 billion were opened by the banks compared with LCs worth $2.48 billion opened in August 2012. LCs worth $2.92 billion were opened in August 2011.
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