Country’s overall import payments inched up by 1.87 per cent in the first three months of the fiscal year 2017-18 amid a sharp increase in food grain import due to a shortage of rice in the local market.
According to the latest Bangladesh Bank data released on Thursday, the overall import payments increased to $11.82 billion in July-September of FY18 against $11.61 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Food grains import, however, increased sharply by 186.53 per cent to $558.57 million in July-September against $194.94 million in the corresponding period of FY17.
Rice import by the country substantially rose in the period amid crop losses, mainly boro paddy, in the flash floods in the country’s north-eastern haor areas and depleting public stocks as well as rising prices of staple in the domestic market.
Import settlement for the food grains mainly rice and wheat in the first two months of FY18 was $316.66 million from that of $118.08 million in the same period of last fiscal year.
Although the import payments in the first two months of FY18 posted a healthy growth of 31 per cent, the growth in the three months, however, was minimal because of a slump in payments for capital machinery in September.
Import of capital machinery dropped by 28.83 per cent to $1.28 billion during the first quarter of FY18 against $1.8 billion in the corresponding period of FY17.
Country’s payments for the capital machinery were $1.89 billion during the first two months of FY18.
Import of petroleum grew by 19.99 per cent to $597.77 million in the Q1 of FY18, while the amount was $498.18 million in the same period in the previous fiscal year.
On the other hand, import of industrial raw materials, mainly meant for readymade garment factories, increased by 4.44 per cent year-on-year to $4.21 billion in July-September from that of $4.03 billion a year ago, the BB data showed.
The year-on-year growth of opening of fresh letters of credit, generally known as import orders, was 36.49 per cent in the Q1 of FY18, while the year-on-year growth rate was 54.16 per cent in the first two months of FY18 against that in the same period of FY17.
In the Q1 of FY18, LC opening increased to $14.70 billion from $10.77 billion in the same period of FY17.
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