>BD trade deficit swells as food imports soar

>Bangladesh’s trade deficit in July-February surged by nearly 47 percent from a year earlier to $4.46 billion, reflecting the soaring cost of food and fuel imports, Reuters reported quoting officials on Friday. (Read full report)
Food grain imports in July to February rose more than 300 percent over a year earlier, due to rising world food prices and local supply shortages, they said.
“An abnormal rise in food grains, including rice and wheat, fertiliser and fuel in global markets have substantially increased the country’s import costs while export earnings failed to reach target,” a senior central bank official said.
The year-earlier trade deficit was $3.04 billion, central bank data showed.
Imports for July-February increased by 21 percent from a year earlier, while exports increased 11 percent, the central bank said.
Like other countries, Bangladesh has seen food and fuel import prices soar. That has pushed Bangladesh’s inflation to double digit levels and fuelled an expansion in the trade deficit.


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