Dhaka, Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Hi-tech garment machinery import rises in first quarter

2016-12-12
Hi-tech garment machinery
import rises in first quarter

Staff Correspondent: Bangladesh's overall imports grew by 14.75 percent in the first four months of the current fiscal year (FY), thanks to a jump by nearly 83 percent in import of capital machinery, officials said.

"The overall imports increased during the period mainly due to higher import of capital machinery and industrial raw materials," a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told.

The actual import in terms of settlement of letters of credit (LCs) rose to US$15.14 billion during the July-October of FY 2016-17 from $13.19 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.

On the other hand, opening of LCs, generally known as import orders, rose by 14.45 percent to $14.89 billion in the first four months of FY 17 from $13.01 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.

The BB official also said the rising trend of importing capital machinery is expected to continue in the coming months for implementation of the different ongoing infrastructure development projects across the country.

Besides, setting up of large-scale power plants is also pushing up the import of capital machinery, the central banker explained.

Currently, the government is implementing nine projects under a Fast Track Project Monitoring Committee, headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for quick implementation.

Import of capital machinery or industrial equipment used for production rose to $2.09 billion in the first four months of this fiscal year against $1.14 billion of the same period of FY 16.

The BB official also said higher import for textile, leather, jute, garment, pharmaceutical, ship building and energy and power sectors contributed to rise in overall capital machinery imports.

M A Halim Chowdhury, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Pubali Bank Limited, said import of capital machinery increases as hi-tech is being used particularly in the apparel and clothing sector for reduction of their production costs.

Availability of low-cost foreign currency loans, offered by the offshore units of the banks, along with re-financing facility of the central bank have helped achieve the 'hefty growth' of the capital machinery imports, according to the senior banker.

Echoing the BB's official, Mr. Chowdhury also hoped that the rising trend of capital machinery imports will continue in the coming months to meet the growing demand for industrial equipment in the country.

On the other hand, industrial raw material import grew by more than 8.0 per cent to $5.32 billion during the period under review from $4.92 billion in the same period of the FY 16.

During the period, import of machinery for miscellaneous industries witnessed a 5.33 percent growth to $1.63 billion from $1.55 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.

Import of intermediate goods, like coal, hard coke, clinker and scrap vessels, increased by nearly 3.0 percent to $1.04 billion in the first four months of this fiscal from $1.01 billion in the same period of the FY 16.

However, import of petroleum products dropped by 17.43 percent to $705.49 million during the July-October period of FY 17 from $854.41 million in the same period of the previous fiscal.

"The import of fuel oils fell during the period under review in terms of value, not quantity due to lower prices of the petroleum products in the global market," another BB official told.

Import of consumer goods decreased by 0.65 percent to $1.49 billion during the first four months of this fiscal from $1.50 billion in the same period of the FY 16, the BB data showed.

Foodgrain imports, particularly of rice and wheat, dropped by more than 11 percent to $390.05 million during the period of the FY 17 from $440.24 million in the same period of the previous fiscal.

"The import orders of wheat increased recently due to falling trend of prices of the foodgrains in the international market," the central banker noted.

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