Industrial raw material imports rise 30pc
Import of industrial raw materials is increasing at an amazing 30 percent rate this fiscal year, Bangladesh Bank (BB) data show.
Letters of Credit (LC) opened for import of industrial raw materials stood at $3,313.68 million during the first four months till October of the current fiscal year from $2,639.11 million in the same period of the previous fiscal 2007-08.
LC worth $565.19 million was opened only in October, according to BB data. But LC worth $878.14 million was settled in the month.
“A significant increase in industrial term loan has been pushing the import of industrial raw materials up this fiscal year,” a senior BB official told The Daily Star.
Industrial term loan disbursement stood at Tk 4,951 crore during the July-September of FY 2008-09 from Tk 3,784 crore during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. The growth rate is about 30 percent for the first three-month period of the current fiscal year.
“More spending on industrial raw materials import means the country is getting industrialised,” said Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, managing director of Pubali Bank.
Chowdhury said the country, which witnessed a stagnant situation for about last two years, is recouping now.
According to bankers, major three areas garments, textile and pharmaceuticals -- are consuming most of the imported industrial raw materials.
“This trend reflects rising confidence among entrepreneurs in the country's future industrial prospects,” the Pubali Bank chief executive said.
But the state-owned Agrani Bank's managing director differed with the growth of import of industrial raw materials saying it has happened mainly because of the price hike of materials in international markets.
“I don't know whether the volume of import has increased or not. What I can say, Agrani Bank did not finance any new industry this year,” Syed Abu Naser Bukhtear Ahmed said.
According to BB data, import of capital machinery -- industrial equipment used for production -- rose by 15.5 percent to $423.74 million during the first quarter of FY 2008-09 compared to that of the last fiscal year.