Export-import container handling at Chattogram Port increased in November following a decline for two consecutive months – a picture businesses have termed positive.
Import container handling increased by 3,973 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and export container handling by 42 TEUs last month compared to October.
And Chattogram Customs House received Tk5,558.72 crore of revenue in November – the highest monthly collection in the current fiscal year.
Regarding the increase in foreign trade amid the Russia-Ukraine war and the volatile foreign exchange market, businesspeople said if this trend continues, the crisis will gradually ease.
Rakibul Alam Chowdhury, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said, "I am seeing the increase in import-export and customs revenue in November positively."
"If import increases, then the quantum of export will also increase. However, it will take more time for overall production and import and export to return to normal levels," he told The Business Standard.
Anjan Shekhar Das, a director of the Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told TBS that despite the increase in import-export container handling and revenue income in November, the chamber does not see the possibility of overcoming the crisis soon.
"This is because importers are still not able to import according to need owing to the dollar crisis. Readymade garment factories have about 40% fewer orders than usual," he said.
"We do not see a solution to this crisis in import and export trade as long as the war in Ukraine ends," Anjan Shekhar Das added.
A review of Chattogram Port's container handling data shows that the volume of container handling increased in August compared to July of the current financial year. Container handling volume increased in November after two consecutive months of decline in September and October.
Revenue collection in the first five months of fiscal 2022-23 stood at Tk25,862.24 crore, an increase from Tk22,452.87 crore in the same period a year ago. That means Tk3,409.37 crore more revenue was collected between July and November compared to the same period of the last financial year.
For Chattogram Customs House, the July-September period saw the most significant decrease in imports of 658,036 tonnes of 20 types of products compared to the previous year. The shipment of those products dropped by around 54%.
The products include cane sugar, betel nuts, apples, fresh vessels, floating structures, motor cars, other vehicles, steel, petroleum oils, parts of air conditioning machines, motorcycles, structures and parts of structures and household refrigerators.
Around 98% of the containers transported through all seaports of the country are shipped through Chattogram port. In fiscal 2021-2022, container handling in the country's main seaport was 32.55 lakh TEUs. The customs house collects duty on goods imported through the seaport.