Rs 1.68 billion trade deficit per day
The country is witnessing trade deficit of Rs 1.68 billion per day as export receipt dropped by Rs 3.9 billion, while import bills soared by Rs 45 billion in the eleven months of last fiscal year 2014-15 compared to the same period 2013-14.
"Merchandise exports decreased by 4.8 per cent to Rs 77.83 billion in the first eleven months of 2014-15," according to the Nepal Rastra Bank. Increased imports and decreased exports further widened trade deficit to Rs 612.87 billion, the report stated, adding that Nepal had exported merchandise goods worth Rs 81.73 billion in the eleven months of 2013-14, some Rs 3.9 billion more than the last fiscal year.
Eroding competitiveness and lack of product and market diversification have been blamed for fall in exports – also to two major export markets India and China – that has pulled overall exports down. Exports to India – the major trading partner – decreased by 6.3 per cent by mid-June 2015 against an increase of 17.5 percent in same period a fiscal year ago. "Exports to India decreased mainly due to drop in the exports of zinc sheet, textiles, cardamom and tooth paste," the report stated, adding that exports to China decreased mainly due to drop in exports of handicraft goods, wheat flour, incense sticks and pashmina.
Likewise, exports to other countries decreased by 1.8 per cent against an increase of 15.9 per cent recorded in same period a fiscal year ago. "Exports to other countries decreased due to the drop in exports of pulses, woolen carpet, tanned skin, and readymade garments," the report stated, adding that exports to other countries decreased by 2.4 per cent to $247.9 million by mid-June.
However, merchandise imports jumped by Rs 45 billion to Rs 690.70 billion, in the first eleven months of 2014-15, compared to Rs 645.70 billion in the same period a fiscal year ago, despite decrease in petroleum price, and drop in imports of gold, betel nut, coal, and MS wire rod.
Imports from India went up primarily due to increased imports of vehicle and spare parts, electrical equipment, rice, and medicine, whereas imports from China increased sharply due to increase in the imports of telecommunications equipment and parts, machinery and parts, chemical fertilizers, and electrical equipment and tools.
Likewise, imports from other countries rose mainly due to rise in the imports of aircraft and spare parts, silver, edible oil, and crude palm oil.