4:53 pm - Sunday May 24, 4618

Rice import increases significantly in 8 months

riceThe import of rice increased by 1,196.24 per cent in the first eight months of the current financial year 2013-14 compared with that of the same period in the FY13.

According to the Bangladesh Bank data released on Tuesday, the settlement of letters of credit, or generally known as actual import, for rice stood at $171.58 million in July-February of the FY14 against $13.24 million during the same period of the FY13.

A BB fact finding report said fall in rice prices on the global market was the key reason for the jump in the country’s rice import in the period.

The rise in the rice prices on the local market also encouraged the importers, the report said.

It said that appreciation of the local currency against the US dollar also prompted the importers to import the essential item more to meet the growing demand.

The rice import increased significantly in the first eight months of the FY14 despite higher production of the crop in the FY13, the report said.

A BB official told New Age on Thursday that the businesspeople had imported huge amount of coarse varieties of rice as the price of the commodity on the international market decreased in recent months.

The BB report showed that the prices of rice on the global market decreased by 14.28 per cent a tonne in July-December of the FY14 from that of the previous six months of the FY13.

The rice prices decreased to $392.96 a tonne in the first half of the FY14 from $458.47 a tonne on average in the FY13.

The prices of rice were at $504.43 a tonne on average in the FY12 and $470.66 a tonne in the FY11.

In the first half of the FY14, the prices of imported rice stood at Tk 30.65 a kilogram, according to the BB fact finding report.

Retailers are selling the coarse verities of rice at between Tk 38 and Tk 40 a kg.

Under the circumstances, the rice importers have gained a remarkable profit by importing rice, the BB official said.

The BB data showed that the import of wheat also increased by 83.77 per cent in the first eight months of the FY14 from that of the same period in the FY13.

The settlement of LCs for wheat increased to $727.19 million in July-February of the FY14 from $395.71 million in the corresponding period of the FY13.

The BB data showed that the country’s overall imports increased by 13.49 per cent in the first eight months of the FY14 year compared with that of the same period in the FY13 due mainly to rise in food grains import.

LCs worth $24.12 billion were settled in July-February of the FY14 against $21.25 billion in the same period of the FY13.

LC opening, or generally known as import orders, in the first eight months of the FY14 also posted a growth of 12.21 per cent from that in the same period of the FY13.

LCs worth $25.97 billion were opened in July-February of the FY14 against the LCs worth $21.25 billion opened in the corresponding period of the FY13.

The BB data showed that the import of capital machinery and industrial raw materials increased by 18.61 per cent and 10.57 per cent respectively in July-February of the FY14 from that in the same period of the FY13.

LCs for capital machinery and industrial raw materials worth $1.61 billion and $9.62 billion respectively were settled in the first eight months of the FY14 while the figures were $1.35 billion and $8.70 billion during the same period of the FY13.

News Source:  The New Age


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