Inflation jumps to 9.5% in Aug, drops to 9.1% in September
Bangladesh inflation escalated to 9.5% in August, according to State Minister for Planning Shamsul Alam, thanks to rising commodity prices and record hike in fuel prices. The annual point-to-point inflation in July was 7.48%. As such, inflation increased by 2.02 percentage points in August. According to BBS data, general inflation, with the 1995-96 base year, jumped to 11.97% in September 2011. Subsequently, the base year was updated to 2005-06 as 11.97% was the highest in the past 20 years. With the new base year, the average inflation of the 2010-11 fiscal year stood at 10.91%. Point-to-point inflation has not exceeded 9% in any month since then. As such, inflation in August and September is the highest in the last 11 years. With the increase in import costs, the prices of food and edible oil in the local market also increased gradually. The authorities in August hiked fuel prices by record 40%-50%, which the economists believe had played the key role in mounting the inflationary pressure. The Euro zone countries, Bangladesh’s key export destination, have been witnessing high price gains. The region registered a double digit inflation on an average last month compared to 3.2% a year earlier. Inflation was 17.1% in the Netherlands, 12% in Belgium, 10.9% in Germany, 9.5% in Italy, 9.3% in Spain and 6.2% in France.
Freight rates drop 50% as global trade slows
Bangladesh’s ocean freight charges have registered a 50% fall from the pandemic-led massive surges as global trade slows because of shrinking demand for goods paired with rising inflation and inventory excesses in destination countries. Vessel operations on the Chattogram-Europe route now cost $6,000-7,000 per 20-foot container in contrast to $12,500 in December 2021 when the pandemic was at its peak. Similarly, a US-bound ship now charges $10,000 per 20-foot container, down from $20,000, according to the Shipping Agents’ Association.In pre-Covid times, shipment of a 20-foot container would cost $2,500 to Europe and $3,000 to the United States.Exports and imports rose slightly by 2.1% and 2.6%, respectively, as compared to 4.8% and 6.2% in the previous quarter, according to G20 international trade statistics released by the OECD on Monday.This is a significantly larger drop than other European countries, with an expected drop in spending of 14% in Spain, 12.3% in Italy, 11.5% in France and 9.4% in Germany.
Bangladesh could grab 12% of man-made fibre market by 2030
Bangladesh has the potential to grab a 12% stake in the global man-made fibre-based apparel market that will reach $375 billion by 2030, mainly cashing in on China’s declining share, Dr MA Razzaque, chairman of the Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID). Apart from offering necessary policy incentives, for this, the government will also have to invest $25-30 billion more in developing a strong backward linkage, he also said in a workshop on “Man-made fibre for moving up the value chain of RMG in the context of LDC Graduation”. The country’s total apparel export will hit the $95 billion mark by 2030 with a massive jump from around $42 billion recorded in FY22. In 2030, the global market is projected to reach $625 billion.