Nepal’s imports shrink to Rs 782b in 2015-16

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Nepal imported goods worth more than Rs1 billion from 33 countries, but only nine export destinations bought Nepali goods worth more than Rs1 billion

Jul 24, 2016-The country’s imports declined in the last fiscal year as the supply channel was badly disrupted by four-and-half-month-long Indian blockade and the Tarai unrest. 

The import bill was down 0.57 percent to Rs781.72 billion last year, against the previous fiscal year’s Rs786.19 billion.Fuelled by growing remittance inflow and middle class growth, Nepal’s import bill has been growing consistently for the past many years.

According to the Department of Customs (DoC), while the import of most of goods recovered after the blockade was lifted, a massive fall in the import of petroleum products, particularly during the blockade, resulted in the overall decline.

In the last fiscal year, total import of petroleum products was worth Rs84.38 billion, 

against the previous fiscal’s Rs126.56 billion. Vehicle imports, however, soared in the latter months of the fiscal year.

DoC Director General Sishir Dungana said he was not sure whether Nepal imports 

have ever declined. “The last fiscal year was an exception due to the blockade. Its impact was seen on imports,” he said.

The status of the country’s exports is much worse. The DoC figures show Nepal’s exports plunged by around 20 percent to hit five-year low.Nepal exported products worth just Rs68.58 billion, against Rs85.20 billion in the previous year. “Besides direct disruption, shortage of raw materials for export industries during the blockade also affected exports,” said Dhungana. 

The government, in the 13th periodic plan that concluded in mid-July, had targeted to increase exports to Rs100 billion.Former Commerce Secretary Purusottam Ojha said despite falling exports, the budget for this fiscal year has not introduced any specific measures. “The budget has not spoken whether the export cash incentive scheme has been continued,” he said.

According to the DoC, exports to India stood at Rs38 billion in the last fiscal year, a sharp drop from the previous year’s Rs55.67 billion.

India, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and China were the major export destinations in the last fiscal year, while India, China, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland and Indonesia were the top five source countries for imports. 

The country imported goods worth more than Rs1 billion from 33 countries. When it comes to exports, only nine export destinations bought Nepali goods worth more than Rs1 billion. 

According to the customs department, Nepal did trade with 185 countries in the last fiscal year. However, the country faces trade deficit with 140 countries. Of the major countries, Nepal has trade surplus with only the US.

Export to top 5 partners

Country    Value

India    Rs38.08b

United States    Rs9.20b

Germany    Rs3.13b

United Kingdom    Rs2.78b

China    Rs2.27b

Import from top 5 partners

Country    Value

India    Rs480.89b

China    Rs125.33b

United Arab Emirates    Rs16.91b

Switzerland    Rs11.23b

Indonesia    Rs10.82b

Source: Department of Customs

Published: 24-07-2016 12:01

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