Nepal Minute - out of the ordinary

Money & Finance

Nepal's foreign trade has decreased significantly during the first six months of the current fiscal year 2022/23.

Statistics from the Department of Customs released on Monday show that foreign trade has dropped by 21.89 per cent to Rs873.47 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year. During the same time last fiscal year, foreign trade was worth Rs1.18 trillion.

During the review period, foreign trade dipped with the decrease in exports and imports.
Imports have decreased by 20.68 per cent during the review period. Goods worth Rs792.66 billion were imported in the review period. The country imported goods worth Rs. 999.34 billion in the same period last fiscal year.

Exports have also decreased by 32.01 per cent. In the first six months of the current fiscal year, exports totaled Rs80.80 billion. Goods worth Rs118.85 billion were exported in the first six months of the last fiscal year.

While exports decreased significantly, there was some improvement in the overall trade deficit during the review period.

The country has faced a trade deficit of Rs711.85 billion, which is 19.15 per cent less than the same period last year.

The government has put limits on the import of luxury items to keep the foreign currency reserves in good shape. This has led to a drop in imports, which has helped reduce the trade deficit and overall foreign trade.

However, there might be increased imports in the coming months as the government has lifted the ban imposed on luxurious goods and removed the cash merging provision on imports by NRB.

Soybean, palm oil exports fall

Similarly, exports of soybean and palm oil have dropped a lot because imports have gone down. This has led to a general drop in exports during the review period of the current fiscal year.

Soybean oil worth Rs8 billion has been exported during the first six months of the current fiscal year, compared to exports worth Rs34.26 billion in the same period last fiscal year.

Palm oil worth Rs13.08 billion and sunflower oil worth Rs227 million have been exported during the review period. Palm oil worth Rs31.97 billion and sunflower oil worth Rs2.41 billion were exported during the same period last fiscal year.

Meanwhile, crude soybean oil worth Rs23.84 billion, crude palm oil worth Rs18.76 billion, and sunflower oil worth Rs7.42 billion have been imported during the review period.

Crude soybean oil worth Rs. 36.58 billion, palm oil worth Rs28.76 billion, and sunflower oil worth Rs. 10.24 billion during the first six months of the last fiscal year 2021/22.

Due to the increase in the price of petroleum products in the international market, the import of petroleum products has increased significantly during the review period.

In the first six months of the current fiscal year, petrol worth Rs33.53 billion, diesel Rs70.1 billion, kerosene Rs697 million, aviation fuel worth Rs11.24 billion and liquefied petroleum gas worth Rs28.20 billion have been imported.

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