Bangladesh’s Top 10 Imports

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Bangladesh imported US$46.2 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2017, up by 30.1% since 2013 and up by 7.9% from 2016 to 2017.

Bangladeshi imports represent a modest 0.3% of total global imports which totaled an estimated $16.054 trillion for 2016.

Given Bangladesh’s population of 157.8 million people, its total $46.2 billion in 2017 imports translates to roughly $300 in yearly product demand from every person in the country.

Bangladesh’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Bangladesh’s import purchases during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Bangladesh.

At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, Bangladesh spend the most on imported refined petroleum oils, raw cotton, woven fabrics made mainly from cotton, wheat, sugar, palm oil then mobile phones.

  1. Machinery including computers: US$5.7 billion (12.4% of total imports)
  2. Cotton: $5.3 billion (11.6%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $3.5 billion (7.5%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $3.2 billion (6.8%)
  5. Cereals: $2.2 billion (4.7%)
  6. Iron, steel: $2 billion (4.4%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $1.9 billion (4.1%)
  8. Vehicles : $1.7 billion (3.7%)
  9. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $1.6 billion (3.6%)
  10. Manmade staple fibers: $1.6 billion (3.4%)

Bangladesh’s top 10 imports represent three-fifths (62.3%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Cereals had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up by 153.8% from 2013 to 2017 due mostly to accelerated purchases of wheat, rice and corn.

In second place for improving import sales was the mineral fuels including oil category, up by 50.5%. Trailing that was Bangladeshi imports of animal or vegetable fats, oils and waxes which delivered a 12.9% gain.

Leading the decliners among the top 10 Bangladeshi imports year over year was plastics and plastic articles, posting a -3.1% drop over the 5-year period.

Machinery

In 2017, Bangladeshi importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers:

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$343.8 million (up 16.9% from 2016)
  2. Knitting/stitching machines: $334.9 million (down -1.1%)
  3. Yarn wash/clean/iron machines: $327.2 million (up 13.5%)
  4. Engines (diesel): $226.3 million (up 80.6%)
  5. Sewing machines, related furniture: $225.8 million (down -16.8%)
  6. Miscellaneous machinery: $221.6 million (down -2.2%)
  7. Turbo-jets: $210.3 million (up 77.9%)
  8. Air or vacuum pumps: $205 million (down -7.6%)
  9. Textile fiber work machines: $189.6 million (down -10%)
  10. Printing machinery: $183.5 million (up 6.1%)

Among these import subcategories, Bangladesh’s purchases of diesel engines (up 80.6%), turbo-jets (up 77.9%) and computers including optical readers (up 16.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Bangladeshi businesses and consumers.

Cotton

In 2017, Bangladeshi importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of cotton and related products:

  1. Cotton (uncarded, uncombed): US$1.3 billion (up 25.9% from 2016)
  2. Woven fabrics (85%+ cotton): $1.2 billion (down -7.3%)
  3. Woven cotton fabrics: $938.5 million (down -12.1%)
  4. Yarn (85%+ cotton): $729.4 million (down -17.2%)
  5. Woven fabrics (mixed): $722.1 million (up 23.3%)
  6. Woven fabrics (under 85% cotton): $243 million (down -12.3%)
  7. Yarn (under 85% cotton): $105.3 million (down -2%)
  8. Other woven fabrics: $49.8 million (up 24.4%)
  9. Cotton (carded, combed): $6.1 million (down -92.3%)
  10. Cotton sewing thread: $823,000 (down -85.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Bangladesh’s purchases of uncarded and uncombed cotton (up 25.9%), other woven fabrics (up 24.4%) and mixed woven fabrics (up 23.3%) were the only categories to increase in value from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported cotton among Bangladeshi businesses and consumers.

Electronics

In 2017, Bangladeshi importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics:

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$949.4 million (up 5.4% from 2016)
  2. Electrical converters/power units: $314.7 million (up 39%)
  3. Electric generating sets, converters: $284.2 million (up 50.5%)
  4. Insulated wire/cable: $211.2 million (up 5.4%)
  5. Electric storage batteries: $170 million (up 20.3%)
  6. Unrecorded sound media: $161.2 million (up 34.4%)
  7. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $141.1 million (up 43.5%)
  8. Electric motors, generators: $109.8 million (down -0.6%)
  9. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $103.3 million (down -36.1%)
  10. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $101.2 million (up 1.8%)

Among these import subcategories, Bangladesh’s purchases of electric generating sets or converters (up 50.5%), electrical or optical circuit boards and panels (up 43.5%) and electrical converters or power units (up 39%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Bangladeshi businesses and consumers.

Fuel

In 2017, Bangladeshi importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products:

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$2.6 billion (up 42.1% from 2016)
  2. Electrical energy: $238.4 million (up 408.8%)
  3. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $191.6 million (up 70.6%)
  4. Petroleum gases: $105.5 million (up 73.2%)
  5. Petroleum oil residues: $12.6 million (down -66.4%)
  6. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $7.3 million (down -9.8%)
  7. Crude oil: $3 million (up 0.1%)
  8. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $2.5 million (up 13.3%)
  9. Coke, semi-coke: $2.1 million (down -27.9%)
  10. Distilled tar: $1.7 million (down -24.5%)

Among these import subcategories, Bangladesh’s purchases of electrical energy (up 408.8%), petroleum gases (up 73.2%) and coal including solid fuels made from coal (up 70.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of mineral fuels-related imports among Bangladeshi businesses and consumers.



 

See also Bangladesh’s Top 10 Exports, Top Asian Export Countries and China’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on May 15, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 15, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on May 15, 2018