Candy, noodles top export items alongside biscuits
Candy, which did not attract the attention of exporters even a decade ago, has become one of the top five items in Bangladesh’s processed food export basket, highlighting the much-needed value-addition brought on by manufacturers. Noodles, another popular food, has also become one of the major items shipped from the country. Biscuit and bakery items, which ranked seventh on the list of top 10 export products in 2009-10, have become the No.1 item in the processed food category, replacing drinks, according to data compiled by the Bangladesh Agro-Processors Association (BAPA). BAPA figures showed that exporters fetched $30 million from candy shipments in 2021-22. The product was the fourth-largest earner in the processed foods category in the year. Bangladesh earned $458 million from shipping of foods in FY22, with the top 10 items accounting for 91 percent of the receipts, according to the BAPA. The association is yet to compile data on product-wise export receipts for the last financial year of 2022-23.
Square Pharma going for Tk 400cr expansion
Square Pharmaceuticals PLC, the country’s biggest drug maker, has announced its plan to invest Tk 400 crore for expansion. The funds would be used for BMRE (Balancing, Modernisation, Rehabilitation and Expansion), and the purchase of capital machinery and land for the future expansion of its business, according to a filing on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). Operational since 1958, Square Pharma is the flagship company of one of the leading conglomerates in Bangladesh, Square Group. It produces a vast range of drugs for both local and international markets. In FY23, it clocked a revenue of Tk 1,898 crore, registering a year-on-year growth of 4.5 percent from Tk 1,819 crore in the previous year. Profits stood at Tk 1,897.89 crore in the last financial year, up 4.54 percent year-on-year from Tk 1,815.45 crore in FY22. Thus, earnings per share increased to Tk 21.41 from Tk 20.48.
Oil prices broadly stable
Oil prices were broadly stable on Tuesday following the previous session’s dip after a flurry of economic data from Germany, the wider euro zone and Britain sketched a bearish picture which could weigh on oil demand. Brent crude futures were up 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $89.92 a barrel by 0847 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures inched up 4 cents, or 0.05 percent, to $85.53 a barrel. Euro zone business activity took a surprise turn for the worse this month, data showed on Wednesday, suggesting the bloc may slip into recession.