10 months of foreign trade: Soybean oil boosts exports
Trade deficit on the rise
KATHMANDU: The government has shut down all non-essential services due to the second wave of the COVID pandemic. Vehicle movement and services, cities and markets are closed. However, imports and exports of consumer goods have increased in the country.
According to the Department of Customs, exports increased by 22.34% in April /May as compared to the previous fiscal year. Exports had declined by 4.81% in the previous fiscal year. Similarly, imports have also increased. As of April / May of the current Fiscal Year, imports have increased by 32.19% compared to the previous year.
COVID pandemic caused severe damage last year. There was a significant decline in the import and export of goods. Therefore, this year’s figure is more encouraging than the previous year.
According to the statistics of the department, goods worth Rs. 108.47 billion have been exported from Nepal till April/May of the current fiscal year. In the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year, exports were only Rs. 82.06 billion.
At that time, Nepal was the largest exporter of soybean oil. According to statistics, soybean oil exports were worth Rs 35 billion. After that, carpets worth Rs 5.98 billion and cardamom worth Rs 5.97 billion were exported.
As of April/May of the last fiscal year, goods worth Rs. 1,025.13 billion had been imported. In the corresponding period of the current Fiscal Year, goods worth Rs. 1254.11 billion were imported. Compared to the previous year, goods worth Rs. 228.97 billion more than the previous year has entered Nepal.
According to the statistics, the highest import of diesel is Rs. 70.56 billion as of April / May of the current fiscal year. The government has collected Rs 42.98 billion from diesel imports.
In the second, raw materials of steel and iron have been imported. Steel and iron raw materials worth Rs 57.31 billion were imported during the period. The third-largest import of soybean oil is Rs 38.5 billion. Similarly, mobile phones worth Rs 32 billion were imported, according to the department.
Trade deficit on the rise
Despite the increase in imports and exports, the trade deficit has increased by 21% in the first ten months of the current fiscal year. The trade deficit was Rs 943 billion in the first ten months of the last fiscal year. In the corresponding period of the previous year, the trade deficit had increased to Rs. 1,145.63 billion.
Businessman Pawan Golyan says that the increase in exports is due to the increase in Nepal’s production even during the COVID crisis.
He said “Even during such difficult times, Nepal’s production has increased by 10%. It is only natural that exports will increase as production increases.”
According to him, the demand for Nepali products is increasing in the global market.
Prime Minister’s Economic Advisor Motilal Dugar said that the increase in exports was in line with the government’s policy. He explained, “The government is working with the private sector in mind. This government is very serious about reducing the trade deficit. To do this, the government is increasing production by making a list of items to be exported.”
He said that the government was preparing to increase the quantity of exported goods and also to release goods that have been stuck.
During this period, Nepal has exported more than 100 billion worth of items for the first time.