LPG prices rise as global markets heat up in winter
The retail price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) went up 10 per cent in the domestic market in January after demand rose in Western countries because of winter, pushing up the rate in the international markets. The price of the fuel in the global markets reached $550 per tonne in December, an increase of 17 per cent from $470 in November. The hike caused the price to go up in Bangladesh from January 1. Now, a 12kg LPG cylinder is being sold in the retail market at Tk 980 to Tk 1,050, depending on companies, up Tk 100 from ten days ago.In December, a 12kg cylinder of Bashundhara LPG was sold at Tk 950, Beximco LPG at Tk 920, Jamuna LPG at Tk 940, Total LPG at Tk 950, and Petromax LPG Tk 930. The increase came at a time when the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the price of private LPG on January 14.LP Gas meets only 2 per cent of the 12 lakh tonne LPG consumption in Bangladesh every year. The demand is increasing by 15 per cent annually and is expected to touch 30 lakh tonnes in 2030, according to industry insiders. At the beginning of the pandemic, the price of LPG fell significantly in the international market. In April last year, it dipped to $250 per tonne. Subsequently, importers had slashed the price. The price went down to Tk 750 per 12kg cylinder in April to May. But the price rose by Tk 300 per 12kg cylinder from May to January, in keeping with the rising rates in international markets.Sugata Chakma, a user in Khagrachhari, said he bought a 12kg cylinder at Tk 750 in May. Last week, it was retailed at Tk 930. The price was Tk 1,200 a year ago.
LafargeHolcim enters aggregate business
Stocks of LafargeHolcim Bangladesh, a multinational cement maker listed with the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), rose 9.80 per cent yesterday on news that it made a foray into the aggregate business.The company has set up the crushing unit with ancillary equipment on the premises of its existing integrated clinker and cement manufacturing plant in Chhatak, Sunamganj. It has the capacity to produce 12 lakh tonnes of clear-sized graded aggregate per annum. It invested Tk 40.1 crore, which came from the company’s own fund. The annual demand for clear-sized aggregate is around 1.5 crore tonnes and Bangladesh relies on imports from the countries such as India, Bhutan, Vietnam, Oman and the UAE for supply.On January 7, LafargeHolcim, the world’s biggest cement maker, announced a $3.4 billion deal to buy Firestone Building Products from Japan’s Bridgestone Corporation in its biggest acquisition in more than a decade. Firestone Building Products, based in the United States, is a leader in commercial roofing and building envelope solutions, with net sales of $1.8 billion.
Private firms get nod to import another 3.45 lakh tonnes of rice
The government has given its nod to private firms to import another 3.45 lakh tonnes of rice to boost the supply of the staple in the domestic market and contain price spike. With the move, the food ministry gave permissions to the private sector to import a total of 6.75 lakh tonnes of rice. If the government’s purchase plan is taken into account, the total amount of rice in import pipeline will stand at 10.25 lakh tonnes. Earlier, the food ministry permitted 29 firms to buy 3.30 lakh tonnes of rice from international markets. The latest approval came less than a week after the National Board of Revenue slashed the import duty on rice to 25 per cent from 62.5 per cent in line with the recommendation of the food ministry.Last week, the government’s purchase committee gave consent to a proposal of the Directorate of Food to import 2.50 lakh tonnes of rice. Some 1.50 lakh tonnes of grains will be bought from India under a state-to-state contract.The importers permitted to import 1,000 tonnes to 5,000 tonnes of rice must supply half the allotted amount in 10 days after opening the LCs, and the rest within 20 days. The firms that received permission to bring in 5,000-10,000 tonnes and more rice will require to import half the approved amount within 15 days after opening of the LCs.