Earnings from spice exports rise 25%
Bangladesh’s earnings from spice exports increased 25 percent year-on-year in the first three months of fiscal 2023-24 due to demand from expatriates of Bangladesh and other Asian countries. Bangladesh earned $11.25 million in the July-September period of the current fiscal year from spice exports, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data. Although export earnings have been increasing for the past three years, they still have not hit the heights of the same period in the fiscal year 2020-21. At that time, spice exports brought in $12.14 million, an increase of 41 percent from the previous fiscal year, as per EPB data. The spices most in demand are turmeric (organic base), red dried chilli, sesame (black, white brown and red), coriander seed, black cumin seed, cumin seed (sweet), fenugreek seed and fenugreek leaf.
Tk 7,000cr scheme for farm sector launched
The government will today launch a Tk 7,000 crore project to boost the commercialization of farming and accelerate agricultural exports by facilitating the expansion of safe food production. Mostly financed by the World Bank, the initiative aims to expand the cultivation of fruits and vegetables following Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to 3 lakh hectares of land, according to project officials. The five-year project, which is the biggest of its kind till date, is scheduled for completion in June 2028. The initiative also aims to expand the cultivation of climate resilient and high-yielding varieties of rice while also increasing the acreage of pulses, oilseeds and horticulture crops to 2 lakh hectares each. The initiative comes at a time when Bangladesh is registering increased production of crops, particularly vegetables and other high value produce, as a section of people have taken up farming as a major source of income. However, concerns remain regarding food safety as there are allegations of excessive application of pesticides.
25 banks keep NPLs below 5%
With the high rate of non-performing loans (NPLs) being a major challenge for the banking sector, just 25 of the 61 commercial banks in Bangladesh are managing to keep their NPL rates below 5 percent. Additionally, 11 of these 25 lenders registered NPL rates of less than 3 percent by the end of June this year, according to data of Bangladesh Bank. Industry insiders say the banks with low NPL rates practise good governance while their board of directors avoid interfering with management activities, making these lenders financially sound. However, simply having a low NPL rate does not always indicate good financial health. This is because it is only natural for newer banks to report lower rates of loan default considering how they have yet to disburse their overall portfolio.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|↑ 134.65||↑ 0.40 %|
|FTSE100||$ 7,628.21||↑ 136.00||↑ 1.82 %|
|Nikkei 225||$ 31,961.79||↑ 215.26||↑ 0.68 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 86.19 ||↑ 0.22 ||↑ 0.26 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 87.95 ||↑ 0.30||↑ 0.34 %|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,859.79||↓ 0.61||↓ 0.03 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 110.5000||BDT 110.5000|
*World Commodities & Local and Global Stock Indices data are taken from bloomberg.com<
* Exchange Rates are taken from BB website, as on latest update.<