Third country imports up as traders diversify

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 25, 2017-

Nepal’s imports from third countries have soared in recent days, with shipments from France, Ukraine, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, in particular, rising sharply with traders being drawn to sourcing from these countries due to lower costs.

According to the Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC), imports from these countries were up 69 percent in the first 11 months of the last fiscal year. 

Suyash Khanal, director of the TEPC, said increased demand for diversified products along with a change in people’s lifestyle had led to the rise in imports from new sources. “Also, importers looking to minimise costs have started trading with new suppliers,” Khanal said. 

As per the TEPC’s statistics, imports from Ukraine surged more than threefold to Rs6.62 billion, the largest percentage rise in imports. Tractors and other agriculture related equipment and soybean oil are Nepal’s major imports from Ukraine. 

Likewise, imports from France doubled to Rs13.21 billion, making it Nepal’s fourth largest import market. Nepal imported jewellery, cosmetics and wine from France. 

Imports from South Korea jumped 82.5 percent to Rs8.22 billion during the review period. According to the TEPC, imports of readymade clothes, electronic appliances and vehicles from South Korea increased in recent days. 

Argentina has been emerging as a major trading partner of Nepal. Over the review period, Nepal’s imports from Argentina increased 36.8 percent to Rs10.10 billion. The Latin American country exports soybean oil and palm oil to Nepal. Likewise, imports from Saudi Arabia surged 29.3 percent to Rs7.32 billion. Polythene granules, plastic bottles and packed food are among the main imports from the Gulf country. Polythene granules are the raw material used to manufacture plastic products. With a steep rise in gold imports from the United Arab Emirates, the import bill also soared 38.5 percent. Nepal imports raw gold mainly from Dubai. Gold imports rose to Rs22.2 billion from Rs16 billion during the review period. 

Meanwhile, Nepal’s exports to Turkey jumped 90.8 percent to Rs3.6 billion. Yarn accounts for the highest export earnings from Turkey. 

Khanal said Nepal exports synthetic and jute fibres that are mainly used for weaving carpets. According to him, yarn exports make up around 89 percent of the total export earnings from Turkey. 

In the first 11 months of 2016-17, the country’s export earnings inched up 5.8 percent to Rs67.35 billion while import expenses rose 28.1 percent to Rs893.09 billion, increasing the country’s trade deficit by 30.3 percent. 

Published: 25-07-2017 08:23

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