Around 54,000 tonnes of sugar, soybean oil and palm oil carried by three ships got stuck at the Chattogram Port as the importers failed to make the LC (letter of credit) payment for the products due to the dollar crisis.
People concerned said the ships are now anchored at the outer anchorage of the port as the products are yet to be unloaded.
They said the Meghna Group and S Alam Group, the importers of the products, have to pay around $94,000 per day as shipping demurrage due to the situation. The Meghna Group has to pay around $78,000 per day and the S Alam Group has to pay $16,000 per day.
According to the importers, the products were imported by opening LCs in Bangladeshi currency. But the banks could not pay the prices due to lack of dollars. As a result, foreign suppliers are not allowing the release of products from the ships.
Mizanur Rahman, deputy general manager of Meghna Group, told The Business Standard, "We opened LCs for importing the products in taka. One of the LCs was opened at the Agrani Bank. But as the bank failed to make the payment, the supplier stopped unloading the products from the ships. We are trying to solve the crisis as soon as possible."
He also said, "We will adjust the shipping demurrage that we are counting while fixing the prices of the products later."
According to the Chattogram port and customs sources, the MT Super Forte ship carrying around 12,000 tonnes of palm oil worth $1.24 crore for S Alam Group reached the outer anchorage of the Chattogram port on 25 November from Malaysia.
The products have not been unloaded from the ship in 54 days as the LC payment has not been done yet. For this, the shipping demurrage has reached $8.64 lakh so far.
On the other hand, another ship named MT Sogan reached the Chattogram port on 6 January carrying crude soybean oil for the Bangladesh Edible Oil and Meghna Oil Refinery Limited from Brazil. The oil imported by Bangladesh Oil Refinery has already been unloaded. But the Meghna Group is counting demurrages of $40,000 per day as around 5,000 tonnes of oil imported by them are yet to be unloaded from the ship.
Besides, the third ship named MV Common Atlas arrived at the port with 60,500 tonnes of sugar from Brazil on 5 January. So far, 23,650 tonnes of sugar from the ship has been unloaded. The importer company has to count demurrage of $40,000 per day as the rest of the sugar is to be unloaded yet.