Nepal’s trade surplus too low to contain deficit

By Laxman Kafle

Kathmandu, May 9: Nepal is in a trade deficit with 125 of its 149 trading partner countries.
According to Foreign Trade Statistics of the Department of Customs, in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, Nepal had a trade surplus with only 24 countries across the globe.
The country has a trade surplus with the Uganda, Slovenia, Afghanistan, Estonia, Iceland, EI Salvador, Central African Republic, Monaco, Sudan, Maldives, Colombia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Bahamas, Yemen, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Guinea, New Caledonia, Azerbaijan, Panama, Bermuda, Kazakhstan, Norway and Mali.
But, the surplus amount has remained too low to contain the trade deficit of the country.
In relation with the total amount, trade has been in meager surplus with Central African Republic (Rs. 275) million and million) and Uganda (Rs. 1.4 million), Slovenia (Rs. 4.9 million), Afghanistan (Rs. 1.4 million) and Maldives (Rs. 5.23 million).
Nepal’s highest amount of trade deficit is with its neighbours, India and China, the biggest trading partners.
The country’s trade deficit reached over Rs. 812.35 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year. During the review period, Nepal’s export trade rose only by 16.88 per cent to Rs. 59.73 billion while import went up by 21.73 per cent to Rs. 872.09 billion.
Nepal’s trade deficit with India reached Rs. 642.67 billion, while with China, it reached Rs. 152.44 billion.
Similarly, Nepal has the third biggest trade deficit with the United Arab Emirates at Rs. 26.40 billion.
During the review period, Nepal imported goods worth Rs. 686.85 billion from India while it exported goods worth only Rs. 44.18 billion.
Likewise, Nepal exported goods worth Rs. 1.52 billion to China against the import of Rs. 153.96 billion.
Likewise, goods worth Rs. 118 million were exported to the United Arab Emirates while, from there, goods worth Rs. 26.81 billion were imported.
Likewise, Nepal imported goods worth Rs. 17.36 billion from France against exports worth Rs. 966 million.
Nepal’s trade deficit with Indonesia reached Rs. 12.94 billion, with Thailand Rs. 10.97 billion, with Canada Rs. 9.51 billion, with Malaysia Rs. 9.40 billion and with Switzerland Rs. 8.95 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year.
Likewise, Nepal’s trade deficit with United States reached Rs. 345 million and with Argentina Rs. 8.058 billion.
Nepal’s trade balance has also remained negative with Vietnam (worth Rs. 7.41 billion), Saudi Arabia (Rs. 7.52 billion), South Korea (Rs. 6.8 billion), Ukraine (Rs. 7.41 billion), Australia (Rs. 5.8 billion), South Africa (Rs. 6.2 billion), Japan (Rs. 5.4 billion), Italy (Rs. 3.4 billion) and Germany (Rs. 2.5 billion) in the review period.

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