The People’s Republic of Bangladesh offers a highly populated market to global exporters, with 212.5 million residents in 2021. Compared to other countries with over 100 million residents, Bangladesh is the world’s most densely populated relatively large nation.
Geographically located in South Asia, Bangladesh is situated near major trading partners like India, Myanmar to its southeast, and China to its north.
Bangladesh’s official language is Bengali. Nevertheless, English is widely used in Bangladesh unsurprising given that the English language is compulsory in many Bangladeshi schools.
Bangladesh is the world’s 31st richest economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on a Purchasing Power Parity basis, outputting US$966.5 billion worth of products and services as of April 2021.
Bangladesh’s demand for imported consumer goods in 2020 resulted in a subtotal US$18.7 billion worth of Bangladeshi spending on the 100 most valuable consumer imports identified in this article.
That consumer-driven dollar amount translates to 38.4% of the overall value of all goods imported into Bangladesh. Spending on all Bangladeshi imports, including raw materials, intermediate products and semi-finished goods, totaled an estimated overall $48.6 billion in 2020.
Among Bangladesh’s most valuable consumer products in 2020 are: processed petroleum oils, phone devices including smartphones; petroleum gas; palm oil; and soya beans.
Spending on all of Bangladesh’s imported goods declined by -16.1% from 2019 to 2020. Bangladesh’s purchases focused on its top 100 consumer imports posted a smaller -12.2% decrease over the latest annual period.
The deceleration in Bangladeshi spending for key imported consumer products was more severe than the global average from 2019 to 2020, which was an average drop of -8.2% for all importing countries around the world.
Among the top 100 consumer products imported by Bangladesh, 39 increased in total value from 2019 to 2020 whereas 61 declined.
Changes in Bangladeshi consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.
Consumer Products Defined
Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.
Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle.
Types of Consumer Products
This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.
Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.
Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a disappointing loaf of bread.
Specialty Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.
List of Key Bangladeshi Consumer Imports
The searchable marketing intelligence table below showcases Bangladesh’s 100 highest-value imported consumer products in descending order. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level.
The table’s fourth column is labeled YOY for year over year. The fifth column identifies each entry’s consumer product type.
|1||Processed petroleum oils||$2,602,971,000||-31.9%||CP|
|6||Sugar (cane or beet)||$725,187,000||+13.2%||CP|
|7||Dried shelled vegetables||$547,625,000||-2%||CP|
|8||Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items||$495,351,000||-17.1%||SP|
|11||Coal, solid fuels made from coal||$392,052,000||+2.4%||CP|
|12||Wide knit or crochet fabrics||$361,885,000||+13%||SP|
|17||Packaged insecticides, herbicides||$284,948,000||+17.3%||SP|
|18||Electrical converters/power units||$270,282,000||+3.8%||SP|
|21||Apples, pears (fresh)||$240,274,000||+11.9%||CP|
|22||Onions, garlic, leeks||$235,120,000||+36.6%||CP|
|23||Computers, optical readers||$230,559,000||-28.7%||SP|
|24||Fresh or dried citrus fruit||$206,922,000||+64.5%||CP|
|27||Unrecorded sound media||$175,649,000||+23%||SP|
|28||Electric generating sets, converters||$165,671,000||-38.9%||SY|
|30||Insoles, heel cushions||$151,835,000||-5%||SP|
|32||Sewing machines, related furniture||$147,364,000||-37.4%||SY|
|33||Other organic cleaning preparations||$144,511,000||-0.8%||CP|
|34||Electric storage batteries||$142,453,000||+32.4%||SY|
|35||Miscellaneous plastic items||$139,667,000||-2.5%||CP|
|36||Ginger, turmeric, other spices||$135,442,000||+38.4%||CP|
|37||Grapes (fresh or dried)||$130,652,000||+46.1%||CP|
|38||Rubber tires (new)||$124,101,000||-17.7%||SP|
|39||Cardamon, mace, nutmeg||$120,796,000||+82.4%||CP|
|40||Malt extract, food preparations||$116,864,000||+10.6%||CP|
|42||Dishwash, clean/dry/fill machines||$111,341,000||-23.3%||SY|
|50||Cumin/coriander seeds, Juniper berries||$82,075,000||+22.9%||CP|
|51||Miscellaneous textile items||$81,275,000||+88.3%||SP|
|52||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$75,765,000||-20.8%||SP|
|54||Iron/steel stoves, barbecues||$72,166,000||+78.8%||SY|
|55||Household base metal mountings||$71,803,000||+16.6%||SY|
|56||Bras, corsets (unknit/non-crochet)||$70,886,000||-11.1%||SP|
|57||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$70,347,000||-23.7%||SP|
|59||Computer parts, accessories||$60,475,000||+29.5%||SP|
|60||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$59,380,000||-29.8%||CP|
|61||Printed books, brochures||$57,677,000||+17%||SP|
|62||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$56,913,000||+8.3%||SY|
|63||Prepared glues, adhesives||$55,229,000||-6.9%||SP|
|64||Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools||$50,466,000||-17%||SY|
|66||Other food preparations||$46,832,000||-16.7%||CP|
|67||Footwear (rubber or plastic)||$45,466,000||-16.8%||SP|
|69||Fish or meat flours, pellets||$40,724,000||-9.8%||SP|
|70||Flours oil seeds or oleaginous fruits||$39,695,000||+6662%||CP|
|74||Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins||$35,051,000||-17.5%||SP|
|76||Cinnamon, cinnamon tree flowers||$33,883,000||-10.2%||CP|
|79||Soap, organic surface-active goods||$33,038,000||+6.6%||SP|
|80||Vulcanized rubber items||$32,380,000||-22.3%||SP|
|81||Uncoated paper for writing/printing||$30,526,000||-4.2%||CP|
|82||Paper containers, cellulose wadding||$30,136,000||-0.8%||SP|
|83||Cases, handbags, wallets||$29,685,000||-26.9%||SP|
|85||Seats (not barber/dentist chairs)||$28,426,000||-3.3%||SP|
|86||Plastic wares (table, kitchen, toiletry)||$27,569,000||-12.2%||CP|
|92||Sowing seeds, fruits, spores||$23,418,000||+31.2%||CP|
|93||Felt, other non-woven garments||$23,205,000||+2425%||SP|
|95||Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles||$21,906,000||-27.7%||SP|
|96||Sauces, mixed condiments, seasoning||$21,176,000||+4.4%||CP|
|99||Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)||$19,302,000||+0.4%||CP|
Totaling 44 items, Bangladesh’s most popular product type is shopping products (SP). This cohort was led by imported phone devices including smartphones; items made from hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel; wide knit or crocheted fabrics; cars; motorcycle parts or accessories; and packaged insecticides or herbicides.
In second place via 36 items are convenience products (CP), articles that are bought routinely, used only once and generally require less thinking time before making a buying decision. Popular examples include processed petroleum oils; petroleum gas; palm oil; soya beans; sugar; dried shelled vegetables; and corn.
Another 20 speciality products (SY) rank among Bangladesh’s top 100 imported consumer goods. Major speciality products imported into Bangladesh include temperature-change machines; liquid pumps; and jewelry.
Durable consumer products are goods like cars, trucks, printing machinery, insulated wire or cable, and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. By product type, note that both shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer goods.
Non-durable consumer products (ND) are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Coal, medications, sugar and corn are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.
Based on the product types identified in the above table, 64 of Bangladesh’s highest-value consumer imported products are durable while 36 are classified as non-durable.
Using the provided table, you can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2019 to 2020. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.
Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports
Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into Bangladesh that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2019 to 2020.
- Flours made from oil seeds or oleaginous fruits: Up 6,662% (US$39.7 million)
- Felt, other non-woven garments: Up 2,425% ($23.2 million)
- Peppers: Up 236.1% ($111.3 million)
- Miscellaneous textile items: Up 88.3% ($81.3 million)
- Cardamon, mace, nutmeg: Up 82.4% ($120.8 million)
- Iron/steel stoves, barbecues: Up 78.8% ($72.2 million)
- Fertilizer mixes: Up 73.7% ($204.8 million)
- Corn: Up 72.8% ($397.9 million)
- Washing machines: Up 68.6% ($23.8 million)
- Fresh or dried citrus fruit: Up 64.5% ($206.9 million)
Three among the above top 10 gainers are speciality products and therefore also durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. Those speciality products are stoves and barbecues made from iron or steel, fertilizers and washing machines.
Felt and other non-woven garments plus miscellaneous textile items are the 2 fastest-growers among the top imported shopping products.
The 5 remaining front-runners are non-durable imported consumer products. These growth leaders include flours made from oil seeds or oleaginous fruits, peppers, spices cardamon, mace and nutmeg, corn, and fresh or dried citrus fruit.
Worst-Declining Consumer Imports
Spending by import buyers in Bangladesh on the following 10 items decreased in value by the highest percentages from 2019 to 2020.
- Unwrought gold: Down -96.9% ($26.9 million)
- Potassic fertilizers: Down -79.4% ($34.4 million)
- Jewelry: Down -71.5% ($73.3 million)
- Motorcycles: Down -46.9% ($112.2 million)
- Prefabricated buildings: Down -40.9% ($19.6 million)
- Electric generating sets, converters: Down -38.9% ($165.7 million)
- Printing machinery: Down -38% ($106.2 million)
- Sewing machines, related furniture: Down -37.4% ($147.4 million)
- Air conditioners: Down -36.3% ($106.3 million)
- Rice: Down -35.2% ($22.6 million)
Two categories among Bangladeshi top 10 severest decliners are durable shopping products used over a period of time. The worst slippage among those categories was for Bangladesh’s imported motorcycles and printing machinery.
The strongest decline for the 7 durable speciality goods include precious metals-related goods, specifically gold and jewelry.
There was just 1 non-durable consumer product among Bangladesh’s 10 major import decliners from 2019 to 2020, namely rice.
Key Suppliers by Country
This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target demand for 5 of Bangladesh’s top consumer import products.
Bangladesh’s biggest imported consumer product by value is processed petroleum oils. The other 4 leading consumer goods imported into Bangladesh are phone devices including smartphones, petroleum gas, palm oil and soya beans.
Below, you will find major supplying countries for Bangladesh’s imported:
Processed petroleum oils: Singapore (53.7% of total), Kuwait (27.3%), Malaysia (8.4%), China (4.5%), India (2.8%), United Arab Emirates (1.4%), Philippines (0.5%), Thailand (0.3%), South Korea (also 0.3%), and Turkey (0.2%).
Phone devices including smartphones: China (40.9% of total), Hong Kong (35.9%), Singapore (7.5%), Vietnam (7.1%), Sweden (1.9%), India (1.8%), Finland (1.5%), United Arab Emirates (0.8%), Japan (0.7%), and Switzerland (0.6%).
Petroleum gas: Vietnam (47.9% of total), Oman (18.4%), Malaysia (14.9%), China (6%), Indonesia (5.7%), Argentina (2.4%), United States (1.9%), South Korea (1.7%), Singapore (0.9%), and United Arab Emirates (0.2%).
Palm oil: Indonesia (80.1% of total), Malaysia (18.4%), Singapore (1.1%) and South Korea (0.5%).
Soya beans: United States (66% of total), Canada (14.9%), Argentina (13.5%) and Uruguay (5.5%).
More great research: Thailand’s 100 Top Imported Consumer Products by Sales, Switzerland’s 100 Most Valuable Imported Consumer Products, United Kingdom’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, 100 Top Consumer Products to Sell to Importers in Taiwan, Sweden’s Top Imported Consumer Products Ranked by Value
Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.
BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Bangladesh Economy.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Richest Country Reports, Top 100 Richest Countries by GDP.
Trading Economics, Bangladesh Consumer Spending.
Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.
World’s Top Exports, Bangladesh’s Top 10 Imports.