Bangladesh reserves fall to $19.5bn after clearing import bills

The country pays $1.21 billion for imports in September and October

Published : 7 Nov 2023, 06:47 PM
Updated : 7 Nov 2023, 06:47 PM

Bangladesh gross foreign currency reserves have fallen to around $19.5 billion after the payment of $1.21 billion import bills for September and October through the Asian Clearing Union.

Bangladesh Bank spokesman Mezbaul Haque said on Wednesday that the payments were adjusted in the central bank’s account with the New York Federal Reserve on Tuesday.

The payment for the September-October period was lower than $1.31 billion paid for July and August.

Economists say Bangladesh’s net reserves, which do not include dues to the International Monetary Fund and other liabilities, are around $17 billion.

The reserves fell below $30 billion for the first time in seven years when Bangladesh paid the import bills of July and August.

Bigger import bills than exports and inward remittances combined are mounting pressure on the country’s economy, ballooning the Balance of Payments.

To cut the deficit, Bangladesh signed a $4.7 billion loan deal with the IMF in January. The second instalment of the loan is expected to be cleared in December.