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Imports dip 18pc in July

Import payments registered a negative growth of 18.42 per cent in July, the first month of the fiscal year, compared with that of a 15.96-per cent growth in the same month of the FY15 because of sluggish business situation in the country and lower commodity prices on the international market. BB officials told New Age on Monday that the businesspeople were still maintaining a go-slow policy to settle letters of credit as they thought that the country’s existing business environment and law and order situation were not favorable enough for business expansion. According to the BB data, the settlement of LCs stood at US$ 2.80 billion in July of the FY17 against US$ 3.43 billion during the same month a financial year ago. The settlement of LCs was worth US$ 2.96 billion in July of FY14. The import of industrial raw materials, however, posted a slightly higher growth of 2.55 per cent in July of the FY17 compared with that of a 0.58-per cent growth during the same month of the FY16. The settlement of LCs for the industrial raw materials stood at US$ 1.19 billion in July of FY17 against US$ 1.16 billion in the same month of FY16. Settlement of the LCs for petroleum products posted a negative growth of 33.52 per cent in the first month of FY17 compared with that of a negative growth of 60.94 per cent in the same month of FY16. The import payments for petroleum products stood at US$ 114.27 million in July of FY17 against US$ 168.17 million in the same period of FY16.A BB official said the import growth for the petroleum products showed a negative growth due to lower prices of the products on the global market.The BB data showed that the settlement of LCs for capital machinery posted a negative growth of 24.92 per cent in the first month of FY17 compared with that of a 58.70 per cent growth in the same period a financial year ago. The import payments for capital machinery stood at US$ 248.79 million in July of FY17 against US$ 331.37 million in the same period of FY16. The BB official said that the import of capital machinery declined in the first month of FY17 as the businesspeople had almost stopped to expand their industrial units due to the ongoing dull business.Import payments for rice and wheat increased by 32.88 per cent to US$ 74.44 million in July from US$ 56.02 million in the same month of FY16, the BB data showed. The BB official said that the opening of LCs, generally known as actual import orders, is likely to pick up in the coming months as it (opening of LCs) increased in July.The BB data showed that opening of LCs posted a growth of 2.86 per cent in July compared with that of a negative growth of 17.62 per cent during the same period of FY16.The opening of LCs stood at US$ 3.09 billion in July of FY17 against US$ 3.01 billion during the same period a financial year ago. The opening of LCs was worth US$ 3.65 billion in the first month of FY14.