Imports thru Ctg port fall as expenditures rise
Imports through Chattogram port fell 2.5 per cent year-on-year in the first six months of the current fiscal as rising US dollar prices pushed up the overall costs involved, according to traders.
Sources at Chattogram Customs House said about 43.87 million tonnes of goods were imported through the country's premier seaport during the July-December period of fiscal 2022-23 compared to 44.99 million tonnes the previous year.
Import expenditure stood at Tk 240,854 crore by the end of first six months, down by about 23 per cent from Tk 195,650 crore for the same period in fiscal 2021-22.
As a result, the import of 2,544 types of products has decreased while that of 2,410 others has increased, customs data shows.
Mahbubul Alam, president of the Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the increase in expenditure is mainly due to higher US dollar prices.
"The cost of several imported products has increased and so, expenditure went up even though imports declined," he added.
The types of goods that registered lower imports include scrap vessels, reconditioned vehicles of below 2,000cc, and certain raw materials such as steel, cement clinker, sodium sulphate and sodium carbonate.
Besides, shipments of goods such as soybean, apple and mustard seeds, unrefined sugar, petroleum oil, furnace oil, chickpeas, and urea fertiliser also fell.
As per customs data, raw material imports amounted to 30.89 lakh tonnes worth Tk 889 crore in the July-December period of the current fiscal compared to 42.6 lakh tonnes worth Tk 1,099 crore the year prior.
Scrap vessel imports amounted to 4 lakh tonnes worth Tk 2,174 crore at the same time, down from 12 lakh tonnes worth Tk 5,802 crore in the July-December period of fiscal 2021-22.
Similarly, raw sugar imports totalled 80,000 tonnes worth Tk 414 crore in the first half of the ongoing fiscal, down 68 per cent year-on-year from 2.5 lakh tonnes worth Tk 1,034 crore.
Meanwhile, Tk 114 crore was spent on importing reconditioned cars of between 1,000cc and 2,000cc while it was Tk 266 crore at the same time last year.
On the other hand, imports of goods such as diesel, coal, stone, granulated slag, palm oil, wheat, octane, crude oil, cotton, bitumen and iron tubes increased by an average of 37 per cent each.
Among the top 20 imported products that amounted to 20.86 million tonnes in the July-December period of fiscal 2022-23 compared to 15.15 million tonnes the year prior, diesel saw the highest shipments.
Some 25.31 lakh tonnes of the fuel worth Tk 11,742 crore was imported during the period, up by some 48 per cent year-on-year from 17.15 lakh tonnes worth Tk 7,146 crore.
However, the expenditure for importing diesel has increased by 65 per cent, or Tk 4,597 crore, at the same time.
Likewise, coal imports amounted to 22.36 lakh tonnes worth Tk 3,739 crore, up by about 52 per cent from 14.66 lakh tonnes worth Tk 1,518 crore in the first half of fiscal 2021-22.
However, import expenditure for the product has increased by 146 per cent year-on-year, or Tk 2,221 crore, during the same period.
Imports of stone increased by 21 per cent year-on-year in the July-December period, but the cost of import ballooned by about Tk 334 crore, or 59 percent, at the same time.
Around 39.08 lakh tonnes of stone worth Tk 905 crore was imported in the first half of fiscal 2022-23 while it was 32.07 lakh tonnes worth Tk 570 crore during the corresponding period the previous year.