March 23: Country’s foreign trade has decreased by 20.14 percent in the eight months of the current fiscal year.
Despite the surge of the foreign exchange reserve, lifting of the ban on the import of luxurious goods and removal of 50 and 100 percent cash margin while opening letter of credit(LC), foreign trade has not improved.
Soaring inflation triggered by Russia-Ukraine war and high banking interest rates have badly affected the import and export, causing the international trade to drop compared to the last fiscal year.
In the first eight months of the current fiscal year Nepal’s total foreign trade was Rs 1,163 billion compared to Rs 1456.48 billion in the last fiscal year, according to the Department of Customs.
The country’s trade deficit has shrunk by 17.86 per cent to Rs 953 billion in the first eight months of the fiscal year compared to last year when the trade gap stood at Rs 1,160 billion.
Statistics released by the Department of Customs on Wednesday show that Nepal imported goods worth over Rs 1,058 billion in the review period, a decrease by 19.13 per cent compared to the imports over the same period last year. The goods were imported from over 158 countries.
Meanwhile, exports from the country stood at Rs 104 billion in the eight months of the current fiscal, down 29.07 per cent compared to the same review period last fiscal year.
In the review period, the imports to exports ratio increased by 14.02 per cent compared to last year in the first eight months of this fiscal year.
Nepal continues to have the highest trade deficit with its neighbours — India and China.
According to the data, Nepal imported goods worth Rs 656.80 billion from the southern neighbour in the review period, while exports to India amounted to Rs 74 billion.
The trade deficit with India stood at Rs 582 billion in the review period. Meanwhile, the trade deficit with China stood at Rs 145.26 billion in the first eight months of the current fiscal year.