Export of cardamom and tea increased in the first half (mid-July to mid-January) of the current fiscal year.

According to a report issued today by the Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC), both quantity and income through export of the aforementioned commodities have improved this year as compared to the previous fiscal year 2019-20. From Nepal, cardamom and tea are exported to various countries, including India.

Last year, around 3.1 million kg of cardamom worth Rs 2.51 billion was exported in the first six months, while this year 4.7 million kg cardamom was exported that amounted to Rs 3.81 billion in the same period.

Compared to last year, the income from export of cardamom has also increased due to its price going up. Last year, cardamom was sold at an average price of Rs 25,000 per quintal while this year it has been sold at an average price of Rs 31,000 per quintal. According to the centre, the price has gone up this year due to prolonged sale of cardamom by farmers. The farmers were supplying cardamom to the traders till last month as they are facing financial crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Cardamom covered 6.28 per cent share of the total exports.

Meanwhile, the income from tea exports was Rs 1.65 billion in the first six months of last fiscal year, while this fiscal it surged to Rs 2.77 billion.

According to TEPC, around 6.7 million kg of tea was exported during the first six months of the last fiscal year.

Meanwhile in the same period of current fiscal year, around 8.7 million kg tea was exported.

Compared to last year, the export price also increased by 67.50 per cent this fiscal. Compared to last year, Nepali tea fetched higher price this year.

Although India is the largest market for tea, some traders have been supplying tea to third countries.

According to Rabin Rai, general secretary of the Central Tea Cooperatives Association, the income from tea may have risen as its price is increasing in third countries as compared to India. Tea is the seventh most exported commodity of the country. It covers 4.56 per cent share of total exports from the country.

Similarly, ginger is also one of the major agricultural products exported from Nepal. But this time only a slight improvement was seen in ginger exports.

While ginger worth Rs 285.64 million was exported in the first half of last fiscal, it stood at Rs 295.157 million in the current fiscal year.

Ginger is the 20th most exported commodity.

Soybean oil was the top export commodity from Nepal this year. Compared to last fiscal, its export soared by a staggering 290 per cent to cover 28.2 per cent of the total exports.

The country exported soybean oil worth Rs 17 million in the review period.

In the first six months of the current fiscal year, goods worth Rs 60.80 billion were exported while merchandise worth Rs 661.25 billion were imported.

Thus, the trade deficit stood at Rs 600.45 billion in the review period.

Meanwhile, during the same period of last fiscal, merchandise worth Rs 57.28 billion had been exported and goods worth Rs 694.69 billion had been imported. Therefore, the trade deficit was much wider at Rs 637.41 billion in the first six months of fiscal 2019-20.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 5, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.