DHAKA, July 16 (Xinhua) — Bangladesh trade deficit has surged to all-time high to over 17 billion U.S. dollars as a pickup in imports outpaced that of exports largely.
The country’s trade deficit in the first 11 months of the just concluded 2017-18 fiscal year (July 2017-June 2018) ballooned by 84 percent year on year to 17.23 billion U.S. dollars, said a central bank official Sunday.
Quoting Bangladesh Bank (BB) data, the official said Bangladesh import payment was 50,524 million U.S. dollars, up 25.52 percent, in July-May period of the last fiscal year while earnings from exports stood at 33,296 million U.S. dollars, 7.79 percent higher, during the same period.
The country’s gap between export earnings and import payments during the July-May period of the previous 2016-17 fiscal year (July 2016-June 2017) was estimated at 9.36 billion U.S. dollars.
On the back of an increase in imports mainly food, capital machinery and raw materials, the BB official said deficit continued to rise sharply since last year.
He said imports of capital machinery and construction materials rose largely as Bangladesh has been implementing some big infrastructure projects.
Apart from this, the official said rising price of oil on the world market and importing a significant amount of rice in an effort to replenish reserves and rein in prices of the staple in the wake of last year’s floods have also led to the skyrocketing imports.
The BB official, however, said strong remittances from nearly 10 million Bangladeshis, living and working abroad, helped offset the impact of the trade shortfall to some extent.
The flow of inward remittances surged about 18 percent year-on-year to 13.58 billion U.S. dollars in July-May period of the current 2017-18 fiscal year, which are also higher than last fiscal year.
Bangladesh’s trade deficit between July 2016 and June 2017 surged about 46 percent to 9.47 billion U.S. dollars year on year.
Earlier the country’s trade deficit had posted a record 9.32 billion U.S. dollars in the 2011-12 (July 2011-June 2012) fiscal year.
The deficit was estimated at 6.46 billion U.S. dollars in 2015-16 fiscal year (July 2015-June 2016). Enditem