Monday, December 31, 2018

Trade deficit widens to Rs 570 billion

Trade deficit widened to Rs 569.50 billion in the first five months of the current fiscal year due to a meager exports and increasing imports.
"Soaring imports of petroleum products, construction materials, machinery, automobiles, electric appliances and airplane parts pushed the trade deficit high up," according to Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC).
These products accounted for 49 per cent of the country’s total import bill, the data further states, adding that the country's largest import –petroleum products – stood at Rs 88 billion. "The trade deficit increased by 35.5 per cent year-on-year and reached Rs 115.03 billion last month (mid-November to mid-December)."
The import to export ratio jumped to 16.2:1, which means Nepal spent Rs 16.2 on imports for every rupee it earned from exports.
According to the TEPC, the exports inched up by just 12.3 per cent to Rs 37.5 billion by the mid-December compared to a 33.8 per cent jump in imports, for which Nepal paid Rs 607 billion.
After petroleum products, imports of iron and steel products that valued Rs 73.23 billion stood the second largest imports, whereas imports of machinery worth Rs 48.36 billion stood third largest item on imports bill. "Nepal paid Rs 44.12 billion for automobiles and parts, and Rs 23.23 billion for electrical equipments' imports. "Imports of aircraft and parts soared more than fourfold to Rs 18.26 billion while imports of apparel and clothing accessories swelled more than threefold to Rs 16.46 billion."
Nepal's imports of agricultural goods increased by 14 per cent to Rs 91 billion, despite being the country an agriculture country, according to deputy executive director of the TEPC Suyash Khanal. "On the contrary, export earnings from farm products increased by 26 per cent to Rs 11.44 billion making Rs 80 billion deficit in agriculture products trade only."
"Demand for non-agricultural goods like woolen carpets, readymade garments, pashmina and yarn has been encouraging in recent days," executive director of the Trade and Export Promotion Centre Sarad Bickram Rana said, adding that export earnings from polyester and cotton – the country’s largest exports – increased by 20 per cent to Rs 3.82 billion. "They were followed by woollen carpets and readymade garments with export earnings of Rs 3.3 billion and Rs 3 billion, respectively."
Nepal exported some 59 per cent – of its total exports – to India, whereas imported some 64 per cent – of the total imports – from India, whereas Nepal imported 22 per cent from China.

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