The country’s trade deficit has surged by 24.4 percent to Rs 288.76 billion during the first six months of the current fiscal year 2013/14 compared to an increase of 28.4 percent during the same period of the previous year.
As per the report of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the trade deficit with India increased by 26.8 percent while same deficit with other countries increased by 19.9 percent during the review period.
“Due to high growth of imports compared to exports, the ratio of export to import declined to 13.5 percent in the review period from 14.5 percent a year ago,” according to the central bank.
During the review period, merchandise imports surged by 23.1 percent to Rs 333.9 billion while such imports had risen by 25.2 percent to Rs 271.35 billion during the corresponding period of the previous year.
Growth of total imports remained low in the review period compared to the same period of the previous year due to a slow growth of imports from both India and other countries, said the central bank in a report.
On a monthly basis, merchandise imports increased by 2.1 percent during December/January of the current fiscal year compared to that of the previous month.
Exports to India increased by 18.4 percent while exports to other countries went up by 9.2 percent during the review period. Imports from India increased primarily owing to an increase in the imports of petroleum products, vehicles & spare parts, thread and coldrolled sheet in coil, among other.
Likewise, imports from other countries increased mainly on account of an increase in the imports of crude soyabean oil, silver, readymade garments and transport equipments and parts, among others.
Meanwhile, merchandise exports went up by 15 percent to Rs 45.14 billion during review period while such exports had increased by 9.3 percent to Rs 39.25 billion during the same period of the previous year.
On a monthly basis, merchandise exports increased marginally by 0.1 percent in December/January of the current fiscal year compared to that of the previous month.
The export of zinc sheet, cardamom, shoes and sandles and juice, among others, increased to India. Likewise, exports to other countries went up primarily due to 9 the increase in export of woolen carpets, herbs, readymade garments and pashmina, among others.