Although the volume of merchandise imported through Chattogram port decreased by 3.86%, the total import bill of the goods jumped by 10% in fiscal 2022-23.
In the just concluded FY23, 8.85 crore tonnes of goods with the value of Tk4.62 lakh crore were imported through the port, according to the Chattogram Custom House.
In the previous fiscal, the imported quantity was 9.21 crore tonnes and their value was Tk4,20 lakh crore.
Meanwhile, Chattogram Custom House has collected a total revenue of Tk61,632 crore from these imported goods in the FY23, a 4.18% growth from the previous fiscal's Tk59,160 crore.
Importes said the import quantity dipped due to the restrictions on imports, especially luxury goods, imposed in the middle of last year to contain the country's depleting reserves.
On the other hand, the rise in import bills is the result of depreciation of local currency against the dollar and rising commodity prices in the international market, experts noted.
Several importers said they had to contract their imports as the dollar price increased from Tk85 to Tk110 within just one year. Even banks are running out of dollars to open import letters of credit.
This jump in import bill has also pushed up duty payments for importers, affecting the price of goods in x retail market.
Mahbubul Alam, president of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Business Standard that the high value of the dollar and the rise in global prices have increased the price of imported goods.
As a result, although the import of goods decreased, the traders had to import goods at higher prices, he added. The increase in import costs and duties has increased the prices of all types of goods at the consumer level.
Imports and duties
Imports fell the most in June FY23, the last month of the fiscal year. Imports in June FY23 was 65,58,691 tonnes, a 9.37% drop against the previous fiscal's June.
Imports were down by 50% for the traditionally top 20 revenue-generating products.
However, among these top 20 products, import volume increased for cement clinker by 5%, broken or crushed stone 77%, coal 45% and palm oil 36%. Customs collected 4.18% more revenue from these 20 imports.
The port has also seen imports of 20 other items go down against the previous fiscal. These products include fuel oil, electric conductors, parts and accessories of motorcycles, reconditioned motor cars, textile fabrics, and crude oil among others.
Due to lower import of these items, revenue collection went down by Chattogram Custom has decreased by Tk5,558 crore.
The port also saw the biggest 98% fall in duty collection from betel nut import, 99% fall from parts of air conditioning machines, 92% from frozen boneless bovine meat decreased, and 98% from calcium chloride.