Exports slip 0.2pc, imports up 23.5pc in first four months

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Dec 18, 2014-

Nepal’s exports slipped 0.2 percent to Rs 29.55 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year largely due to a fall in shipments to India, the country’s largest trading partner, said Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).  During the same period last year, exports had recorded a double-digit growth of 11.9 percent.

Although exports to China and other overseas countries swelled during the review period, exports to India fell 4.9 percent to Rs 18.02 billion. In contrast, shipments to southern neighbour were up 18 percent during the same period last year. India accounts for 60 percent of Nepal’s total exports.

According to the central bank, a sharp drop in exports of large cardamom, zinc sheet, jute products and copper wire rods led to an overall decline in exports to India. Large cardamom exports were down by almost half to Rs 683 million from Rs 1.31 billion.

Exports of zinc sheet fell 19.9 percent to Rs 2.16 billion, jute products dropped 11.4 percent to Rs 1.23 billion and copper wire rods slumped 18.6 percent to Rs 426.9 million, NRB said.

Meanwhile, exports to China soared 81.9 percent to Rs 1.18 billion in the first four months of 2014-15. As per the central bank’s statistics, shipments to the northern neighbour amounted to Rs 651.4 million during the same period last year. Nepal sent large amounts of tanned skin, woollen carpets, handicrafts and readymade garments causing a massive jump in exports to China.

However, Nepal’s export growth rate to other overseas markets slowed during the period. Shipments edged up 3.5 percent to Rs 10.33 billion. They were up 5.1 percent during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Nepal’s imports leapt 23.5 percent resulting in an import bill of Rs 256.91 billion. Imports totalled Rs 208.09 billion during the first four months of last year. Imports from India surged 20.6 percent to Rs 164.79 billion. Likewise, imports from China and other countries increased 49.5 percent and 20 percent respectively.

As a result of the widening gap between imports and exports, the country’s trade deficit has ballooned 27.4 percent to Rs 227.36 billion in the first four months, the NRB report showed.  

Meanwhile, remittance inflow crawled up 0.8 percent to Rs 180.34 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year after two straight months of decline. According to Nepal Rastra Bank, remittance inflow rose 0.8 percent in the first month before dropping 4 percent to Rs 84.48 billion two months later and 0.6 percent to Rs 134.19 billion three months later.

Published: 19-12-2014 09:36

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