The government will allow the import of eggs after consultation with the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry if the price of eggs does not come down, said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Sunday (August 13, 2023). “If the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock fixes the price for eggs it can be controlled through drives conducted by the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection,” he said while talking to reporters after attending a programme at Mohammadpur Town Hall in the city. At Tk 150 per dozen in Dhaka markets, eggs not an affordable protein source any more As price of eggs soars abnormally the members of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection are conducting drives in different wholesale markets in the city and realising fines, he said. “Importing eggs is not under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Ministry and the permission from the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is needed for import. A decision regarding import of eggs will be known soon after getting green signal from the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock,” he said. Hike in egg price: Consumer Rights Protection body realises Tk 10,000 in fine in Faridpur Talking about the price of sugar, Tipu said, “Alongside importing sugar from the international markets, we are also procuring sugar from the local markets to meet the demand due to delay in arrival of sugar-laden ships or unloading complexities.” Replying to a question about importing essential goods from India through quota, the minister said a decision will be taken in this regard as he is going to India this month and will meet the commerce minister of India. Broiler chicken now selling at Tk 230 per kg, egg price down
Agriculture Minister Md Abdur Razzaque has said a decision on onion import will be taken within two to three days after monitoring the market situation. "I know that all middle- and limited-income people are suffering. The price of onion should not be Tk 80 per kg. At the policy level, we are putting emphasis on the interests of our local farmers,” the minister said while talking to reporters at his Secretariat office today (May 21, 2023). "We have discussed it at the highest level of policymaking. We are monitoring the market very closely. Insha'Allah, you will get a decision on whether we will import onions in 2-3 days," he said. Read more: Govt may allow onion import soon: Agriculture Secretary Last week, the Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akhter said the government is considering importing onions due to the hike in onion prices in the market. Due to government intervention, onion production in the country has increased by more than one million tonne in the last two years, according to the DAE (Department of Agricultural Extension). This year alone, more than 34 lakh tonnes of onion have been produced in the country. Meanwhile, the demand for onion in the country is 26 to 28 lakh tonnes per year. Read more: Govt to import 12,500 MT of sugar from US However, due to lack of proper storage system or adverse environment, 30-35% of locally produced.
The government of Bangladesh will import 12,500 metric tons (MT) of sugar and 220,000 MT of fertliser to meet the domestic requirements. Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) in a meeting on Wednesday (May 17, 2023) approved a number of proposals in this regard. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal presided over the meeting held virtually. According to a proposal of the Commerce Ministry, its subordinate body Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will import the sugar from Accentuate Technology Inc., USA (Local Agent: OMC Ltd., Dhaka) through an international open tender system at total cost of Tk 66.27 crore with per kilogram (kg) cost at Tk 82.85. Also Read: PM Hasina: Bangladesh won't buy anything from those who impose sanctions against it Additional secretary to the Cabinet Division Sayeed Mahbub Khan, who briefed reporters about the Cabinet body meeting, said while approving the proposal the issue of the Prime Minister’s instruction not to import any goods from any country which imposed sanction on Bangladesh was not discussed in the meeting. The committee approved two separate proposals of the Industries Ministry to import a total of 60,000 MT of urea fertilizer and 10,000 MT of phosphoric acid by its subordinate body Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC). Also Read: Tariff Commission recommends fixing loose sugar price at Tk 120, packaged Tk 125 per kg Of these, 30,000 MT of bagged granular urea will be procured from Karnaphuli Fertilizer Company Limited (Kafco) at cost of Tk 120.03 crore with per MT price at $371.25 while another 30,000 MT bulk granular urea fertiliser will be imported from SABIC Agri-nutrients Company of Saudi Arabia at a cost of Tk 106.25 crore with per MT price at $327.33. The BCI will import 10,000 MT of phosphoric acid at Tk 60.95 crore from Sun International FZE, UAE (Local Agent: M/s Agro Industrial Input, Dhaka) for TSP Complex Limited, Chittagong. Each MT of acid will cost $566.50. Also Read: Letter to be sent to NBR to extend duty exemption on sugar import: Commerce Secretary The CCGP approved a total of six proposals of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC), placed by the Agriculture Ministry, for importing a total of 160,000 MT of different types of fertilizers. Of these, the BADC will import 40,000 MT of DAP fertilizer from MA'ADEN, Saudi Arabia at a cost Tk 229.33 crore, $532 under the state level contract. Also Read: Raid if sugar is not sold at govt-fixed rate: Tipu Munshi It will import 30,000 MT of TSP fertiliser from OCP, S.A. of Morocco at a cost Tk 126.57 crore, with each MT price at $391.50, under the state level contract while 40,000 MT of DAP fertilizer will be imported from the same company of Morocco at a cost of Tk 233.42 crore with per MT price at $541.5. The BADC will import 50,000 MT of Muriate of Potash (MOP) fertiliser from the Canadian Commercial Corporation under the state-level contract at a cost of Tk 225.23crore, with per MT price at $418. Also Read: Japan wants to invest in sugar industry, biomass power, prepaid gas meters in Bangladesh The CCGP approved a proposal of the Local Government Division to extend the cost of the consultant by Tk 11.1 crore for its project "Water Supply and Sanitation in 23 Municipalities of Bangladesh (1st Revised)" being implemented by the Department of Public Health Engineering. Joint Venture of (1) Ranhill, (2) Farhat and (3) DDC had been appointed as consultant for the project. Also Read: Sugar disappears from Dhaka stores amid high price
Bangladesh Army-run Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory Limited (BMTF) will supply 3 crore blank smart cards to Bangladesh Election Commission (EC). Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) in a meeting on Tuesday approved the proposal along with some others from different ministries. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal presided over the virtual meeting. As per the proposal, the BMTF will supply the smart cards under the Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (2nd Phase) project of the Arms Forces Division of the Prime Minister's Office at contract value of Tk 406.50 crore. Under other proposals, approved by the CCGP, state marketing agency Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will import 12,500 metric tons (MT) of sugar and 1.10 crore litres of soybean oil for its ongoing programme to sell those in open market. Each kg of sugar will cost Tk 82.92 while the soybean oil will cost Tk 146.10 per litre Of these, Smart Matrix Pte., Ltd., Singapore (Local Agent: Mark Line Enterprise, Dhaka) will supply 12,500 MT of sugar at Tk 66.79 crore while the Guven Traders Ptv. Ltd., India (Local Agent: HH Enterprise, Dhaka) will supply 1.10 crore of soybean oil at Tk 148.30 crore. Supplier Smart Matrix Pte., Ltd., Singapore was selected for sugar supply through an international bidding process while the Guven Traders Ptv. Ltd., India, was chosen by the TCB through direct procurement method without any bidding process. The Cabinet body approved a number of proposals of the Roads and Highway Department (RHD) under the Roads Transport and Highway Division to award contracts for road constructions. Of these, the Joint Venture of (1) SRBG, China; and (2) and BTC, Bangladesh won a contract of the Lot No- DS-7 under Package No- WP-04 of the Project "Sasec Dhaka-Sylhet Corridor Road Development" at Tk 947.74 crore. The Joint Venture of (1) CSCEC7, China; and (2) Spectra Engineers Ltd., Bangladesh won the contract of the Lot No. DS-8 under Package No- WP-04 of the project “Sasec Dhaka-Sylhet Corridor Road Development” at Tk.1, 178.68 crore. The RHD selected Taher Brothers Ltd. to award the contract for “Upgradation of Gouripur-Anandganj-Madhupur-Dewanganj Bazar-Hosenpur District Highway to the proper standard” at a value of Tk 131. 47 crore. The RHD selected Joint Venture of (1) Mozahar Enterprise Pvt. Ltd., (2) National Development Engineers Ltd., and (3) Sagar Info Builders Ltd. for Package No. PW-01 of "Sherpur (Kanasakhola)-Bhimganj-Narayankhola-Rambhadrapur-Mymensingh (Rahmatpur) Road Development '' Project at Tk 149.99 crore. The Joint Venture of (1) National Development Engineers Ltd. , and (2) Hasan Techno Builders Ltd., has been selected by the RHD for the package No. PW-02 of the "Sherpur (Kanasakhola)-Bhimganj-Narayankhola-Rambhadrapur-Mymensingh (Rahmatpur) Road Development" at a contract value of Tk 180 crore. Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs at a meeting approved in principle a proposal of the Directorate General of Health Services to procure Firstline TB Drugs, Medical and Surgical Supplies and Laboratory Equipment from the Essential Drugs Company Limited through Direct Purchase Method (DPM) without bidding process. The drugs, services and equipment will be procured for the "Health and Gender Support in Cox's Bazar District (2nd Revised)"project under the United Nations Office for Project Services.
Importers are suspecting that onion price in the country may go up during Ramadan, as the government of Bangladesh has decided to not issue new permits for importing Indian onions after March 15 through the Hili land port -- to ensure local farmers get a fair price. “Large consignments of onions are being imported now through Hili land port to keep prices stable during Ramadan. But the government decided to not issue new onion import permits from India, which may make the onion market unstable,” Senior Vice President of Hili Land Port Import-Export Group Shahidul Islam said while speaking at a press conference on Monday (March 14, 2023) night. Read More: Onion imports through Benapole resume after 2 months If onion imports stop after March 15, importers will suffer financially. Consumers also have to buy onions at higher prices during Ramadan, he added. Mostafizur Rahman, general secretary of the organization, said that it is necessary to continue importing onions throughout the month of Ramadan and keep the prices stable. Currently, imported onions are being sold at Tk 24 and domestic onions at Tk 26 per kg at retail level. Read More: Magura onion farmers in tears as prices plummet
The government will import 1.5 lakh tonnes of TSP fertilizer from Tunisia in 2023. Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) and Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT-Groupe Chimique Tunisien) signed an agreement in this regard on Tuesday at Tunis, capital of Tunisia. BADC Chairman Abdullah Sazzad and GCT General manager Mohammed Ridha Shalgam signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides. Also Read: Govt okays fertilizer import, procurement of container scanner systems BADC has been importing TSP fertilizer from Tunisia under government to government basis since 2008. The TSP fertilizer from Tunisia has a demand in Bangladesh due to its good quality.
An upward trend in imports once again amid calls for austerity from the highest levels of Bangladesh government has raised concern among economists as to whether truly effective steps are being taken to check trade-based capital flight, particularly through the practise of over-invoicing by the country’s importers. The government has been looking to shore up its dwindling reserves of foreign exchange by cutting down imports of non-essential and luxury items, as well as tightening the process for issuing LCs by banks on behalf of importers, during which over-invoicing occurs. Both Bangladesh Bank and the government took a number of measures to curb import payments, which hit a record high of $82.5 billion in FY22, that ended last June 30. The central bank has asked banks to impose a 100 percent margin on the opening of LCs for non-essential items, meaning that importers have to make a full import payment in advance. Read: Bangladesh Bank raises dollar exchange rate by Tk 1 to Tk 100 The results were mixed, with only a slight cooling down in imports noticeable in the first quarter of the current fiscal (July to September 2022), clocking $19.3 billion. With exports too slowing somewhat to $10.8 billion in the same period, the country’s trade deficit had already ballooned to $7.5 billion in the first three months of the year - sustaining the pressure on the reserves. Subsequent data from the Export Promotion Bureau have shown that exports bounced back strongly in the second quarter, breaking records in November and December. But now import data, which from Bangladesh Bank tends to be a month behind the export numbers from EPB, has shown that imports too have kept performing robustly. After continuing to hover above the $6 billion mark in October, the country’s imports crossed the $7 billion mark once again in November 2022, clocking $7.03 billion, up 14.2 percent from the previous month. Read: Exporters to get slightly higher rate of Tk 102 for one US dollar Acknowledging the need for austerity to check superficial spending, economist and former caretaker government advisor Dr. A.B.M Mirza Azizul Islam was keen not to see rising imports as a negative per se, since it also signals strong demand in the economy and the people’s purchasing power. Consumption can be a driver of growth. "This is a good aspect of increasing imports. It is natural that imports will increase when the economy grows. Imports will increase, investment in the country will increase. The economy will move forward,” he told UNB. “The problem is our imports had increased abnormally. It came down in various steps. Now there is an increasing trend again. But our reserves are dwindling. In this situation, there will be more pressure on reserves,” he said. Read: Remittance: Bangladesh Bank tells banks to provide Tk 107 per dollar So the government has to stay on the path of austerity, it should continue for some more time. After getting loans from the IMF, World Bank and ADB, things can be thought of differently, Mirza Aziz said. Former governor of the central bank, Dr Salehuddin Ahmed, opined much the same, encouraging increased domestic resource mobilisation while following the path of austerity. He also suggested strongly to verify the LCs against goods arriving via containers to stop trade-based money laundering, the real menace that needs to be targeted. Read More: Bangladesh reassures Chinese FM of one-China policy, seeks better trade relations As the global economy started to normalise in the post-pandemic period, Bangladesh witnessed galloping import demand outshine record exports in the 2021-22 fiscal. The $82.5 billion import figure was itself a record, up 36 percent year-on-year and leading to a record trade deficit as well. The country’s forex reserves, which peaked at $48.1 billion in August 2021, will soon have halved since then. At the end of the last trading week on Thursday (Jan. 5), the reserves stood at $33.6 billion, including encumbered reserves. The unencumbered reserves figure would be $24.5 billion, following the next payment to the Asian Clearing Union, $1.12 billion for the November-December period, due this week. Read More: UK to strengthen trade, investment, digital economy ties with Bangladesh: Indo-Pacific Minister
Bangladesh Bank has instructed banks to keep a minimum LC margin (cash advance) for importing rice and wheat, in order to keep their market prices at a tolerable level. Banking regulation and policy department of Bangladesh Bank issued a circular in this regard – with immediate effect – today and sent it to top executives of all banks. Read more: Bangladesh Bank allows LCs to import commodities for Ramadan The circular instructed that banks should kept LC margin at the minimum level, depending on the bank-client relationship. “Rice, wheat and crops prices are seeing an upward trend, owing to the disruption in the global supply chain caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. As a result, the transport cost of global commodities has gone up, affecting prices in the local market,” the central bank circular added. Read more: Bangladesh wants to buy sugar, wheat, soybean oil from Brazil To keep the import and supply channel smooth for rice and wheat, Bangladesh Bank asked banks to keep a minimum LC margin. The central bank also directed banks to take a minimum cash advance from importers while opening LCs for a number of essential commodities in order to keep their prices at a tolerable level during Ramadan. The demand for edible oil, lentils, onion, spices and dates usually goes up during Ramadan. As a result, the prices of the items also increase.
A Liberian cargo ship carrying 52,500 tonnes of wheat from Ukraine has docked at Chattogram port for the first time since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. Magnum Fortune arrived at the outer anchorage of the port on Wednesday evening, Abdul Quader, food controller (storage and movement) of Chattogram division, told UNB Thursday. The cargo ship will move to the silo jetty for releasing the food grain after the testing of samples, he added. Read: Cargo vessel carrying Indian transit container arrives in Chattogram port The government bought the wheat under its government-to-government (G2G) agreements with Russia and Ukraine after India turned down Bangladesh's request for wheat import. Earlier, as part of the agreements, Bangladesh already received more than one lakh tonnes of wheat from Russia in two shipments.
Bangladesh has planned to import 5.46 million (54.6 lakh) metric tons of petroleum for 2023. Of these bulk petroleum, some 3.860 million (38.60 lakh tons) is refined petroleum while the remaining 1.6 million (16 lakh) MT is crude petroleum. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in a meeting, with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the chair, on Wednesday gave approval in principle to two separate proposals in this regard, placed by the Energy and Mineral Resources Division. State-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) will import the entire petroleum. As per the proposal, 1.6 million MT of crude petroleum will be imported from ARAMCO of Saudi Arabia and ADNOC of Abu Dhabi through a direct procurement method. The refined 3.8 million MT petroleum will be imported from different countries under G2G basis. However, the sources of the import and the quantities were not disclosed. These proposals will come to the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) for final approval and at that stage, the details of the proposals might be disclosed. Normally Bangladesh imports half of its refined petroleum through G2G basis through negotiation and the remaining half from the international market through international tender. Both in the negotiation process and tender process and negotiation process, only premium is set for the import while the petroleum rate is fixed on the basis of market rate through a certain formula. Read: Country has adequate stocks of petroleum fuel: Energy Division “Chattogram Metropolitan Sewerage Project for Patenga Catchment” The CCEA also approved in principle another proposal titled “Chattogram Metropolitan Sewerage Project for Patenga Catchment” to implement it through public-private partnership (PPP). The Local Government Division placed the proposal while its subordinate body Chattagram WASA will implement the project in order to build an environment-friendly sanitation system in South Patenga and surrounding areas under the Chattagram City Corporation. No detail of the project’s cost was disclosed in the meeting.