Nepal’s foreign trade shrinks 2.55% to Rs 1,429.53 billion

Petroleum was the largest import, while hand-woven carpets topped the list of exports in first 10 months of 2023/24

Himal Press 20 May 2024
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Nepal’s foreign trade shrinks 2.55% to Rs 1,429.53 billion

KATHMANDU: Foreign trade, which has been sluggish since the beginning of the current fiscal year, has still not been able to pick up pace.

The latest foreign trade data released by the Department of Customs on Monday shows Nepal’s imports fell by 2.39% to Rs 1,303.35 billion over the first 10 months of fiscal year 2023/24 (till mid-May), compared to Rs 1,335.32 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Exports too were down by 3.61% during the period. The country exported goods worth Rs 126.17 billion in the 10-month period of the current fiscal year, compared to Rs 130.90 billion in the same period of 2022/23.

Given the drop in both imports and exports, Nepal’s total foreign trade size shrank by 2.55% to Rs 1,429.53 billion over the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, compared to Rs 1,466.22 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

The share of exports in total foreign trade shrank to 8.83% in the review period of the current fiscal year compared to 8.93% in the first 10 months of 2022/23. The share of imports, however, increased to 91.17% compared to 91.07% in the first 10 months of the previous fiscal year.

Out of 168 trading partners, Nepal enjoyed a trade surplus with only 34 countries in the review period. Of them, Nepal enjoyed the highest trade surplus of Rs 385.84 million with Denmark, followed by Afghanistan (Rs 262.01 million) and Norway (Rs 113.66 million).

Nepal suffered the highest trade deficit of Rs 1,177.18 billion with India, followed by China (Rs 729.70 billion) and the UAE (Rs 238.55 billion).

India was Nepal’s largest trade partner in the review period. The country imported goods worth Rs 1,303.35 billion from India while it exported goods worth Rs 126.17 billion to the southern neighbor.¬†Likewise, Nepal imported Rs 815.72 billion worth of goods from China, while it exported goods worth Rs 86.02 billion to the northern neighbor.

Petroleum products were the country’s largest imports in the review period. Data shows Nepal imported diesel, petrol, and liquefied petroleum gas with a combined value of Rs 218.48 billion in the review period. Raw materials for steel industries and smartphones were the other biggest imports during the period.

Readymade carpets were the country’s largest export in the review period, with export earnings of Rs 8.79 billion, followed by black cardamom (Rs 6.91 billion) and palm oil (Rs 5.62 billion).

Published On: 20 May 2024

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