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Trade deficit up 53% in July-April of FY22

This also exceeded last year's total shortfall

DHAKA

Bangladesh’s trade deficit ballooned up 53% year-on-year to $27.5 billion in the July-April period of the ongoing fiscal year 2021-22 as imports overshadowed exports.

This also exceeded last year’s total shortfall.

Bangladesh paid $68.67 billion in import bills in the 10 months ending in April, when export earnings stood at $41.10 billion, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank.

The amount of deficit from the country’s overseas trade crossed the previous peak of $23.7 billion, registered last fiscal year, thanks to steep import bills resulting from soaring commodity prices in the international market.

With its inadequate domestic production, Bangladesh has to import a number of key commodities, namely wheat, edible oil, sugar and pulses.

The country also has to import petroleum, industrial raw materials and intermediate goods to run both its domestic market and export-oriented industries.

Imports, which slowed in the last two months, were still 41% higher year-on-year in the July-April period whereas exports grew 35% at the same time.

The gap against the backdrop of a drop in the inflow of remittance, a major pillar of Bangladesh’s $465 billion economy, worsened the availability of foreign exchange to finance imports and increased pressure on once comfortable foreign exchange reserves.

Current account deficit ballooned over nine times year-on-year to $15.30 billion, the highest on record, in the July-April period of the current fiscal, central bank data showed.

The previous widest deficit in the current account was the $9.56 billion recorded in FY18.

The amount of imbalance was $4.5 billion last fiscal year.

Overall balance with regard to the external account also became negative until this fiscal year from positive balances in the last two fiscal years, according to the data.

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