Country’s foreign trade has increased by 63 percent in the first five months of the current fiscal (beginning from July 16) compared to the corresponding period last year (2020-21), The country witnessed the foreign trade worth Rs 575 billion in the first five months of the last fiscal year and the figure rose to Rs 941 billion this year. The latest data issued by the Department of Customs show that the import business also increased by 59.55 percent this year compared to the previous year.
The import in the five months of the last year was calculated at Rs 525 billion and it has jumped to 838 billion till mid-December of the current fiscal. Likewise, the export also rose to 105.61 percent in the period in reference. Nepal’s export business was worth Rs 50.05 billion till mid- December last year and it reached 102 billion in the corresponding period this year. According to the Department, despite the data suggesting the rise in export this year, the country’s trade deficit has further ballooned this year compared to the last year.
The nation records a 54.7 percent rise in trade deficit to calculate it at Rs 735 billion in the first five months of the current fiscal year. Last year, it was Rs 475 billion in the corresponding period. The contribution of import in the country’s total foreign trade in the first five months of the last fiscal year was 91.3 percent and it went down by 2.45 percent during the current fiscal year to stand at 98.07 percent. Similarly, the share of export in foreign trade has increased to 10.93 percent, increasing by 25.72 percent.
It was 8.7 percent in five months of the last fiscal year. According to the Department, out of the petroleum products that occupy a large portion in foreign trade of the country, the highest amount of diesel was imported in the first five months of the current fiscal year. Diesel worth Rs 49.02 billion was imported till mid-December 2021. Likewise, crude soybean oil comes second in terms of the highest proportion of import.
Entrepreneurs of Nepal import crude soybean oil from different countries and export it to other countries after refining it. It is seen that around 980 million litres of soybean oil worth Rs 33.66 billion was imported in the first five months of the current fiscal year. According to the Department, palm oil worth Rs 24.61 billion, petrol worth Rs 24.10 billion, LP gas worth Rs 23.11 billion and phone sets worth Rs 20.35 billion was imported.
Of the exported goods, the highest amount of soybean oil was exported from Nepal. As per the latest data, soybean oil worth Rs 30.55 billion was exported from Nepal followed by palm oil worth Rs 27.42 billion. Entrepreneurs import crude palm oil and export to different countries after refining it as the soybean oil. The data shared by the Department shows that carpet worth Rs 3.73 billion and jute and other woven clothes worth Rs 2.65 billion were exported.
In the first five months of the current fiscal year, Nepal imported goods worth around Rs 500.03 billion from India and exported goods worth Rs 84.15 billion. This shows that Nepal’s trade deficit with India alone is more than Rs 415 billion. Likewise, Nepal imported goods worth Rs 122 billion from China whereas it exported goods worth Rs 381.6 million in the first five months of the current fiscal year.
The Department’s statistics shows the largest amount of import was through the Birgunj transit point which recorded goods import worth more than Rs 290 billion, followed by Bhairahawa transit point which recorded goods imports worth Rs 136 billion and Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) customs which recorded imports worth over Rs 105 billion. Nepal exported goods worth more than Rs 49.41 billion via Birgunj customs, Rs 28.56 billion via Biratnagar customs and Rs 14.41 billion through TIA customs.