Trade deficit crosses Rs 1 trillion

Kathmandu, July 3

Nepal witnessed trade deficit of Rs 1.03 trillion in the first 11 months of this fiscal (mid-July 2017 to mid-June 2018), as the country’s exports remained sluggish against skyrocketing imports.

The country imported goods worth Rs 1.11 trillion in the review period against export of Rs 74.32 billion, according to the Department of Customs (DoC).

This resulted in export-import ratio to stand at 1:14.9, meaning Nepal imported goods worth Rs 14.90 against export of every rupee. In the same period of last fiscal, the ratio stood at 1:13.3.

Trade experts say that the trade deficit is growing at an unsustainable pace, but there is limited remedy to cope up with the alarming trade deficit for the country, which has supply-side constraints.

According to the DoC, while imports surged by nearly 24 per cent, exports rose at a more moderate pace of 10.5 per cent. This resulted in the trade deficit to widen by staggering 25 per cent compared to the corresponding period of previous fiscal.

Nepal’s foreign trade is largely concentrated with India, as 66.2 per cent of the total imports and 57 per cent of the total exports took place with the southern neighbour. Likewise, share of China in imports and exports stood at 13 per cent and four per cent, respectively.

Apart from the two neighbouring economic giants, United States, Thailand, Vietnam and Turkey are the major trading partners of Nepal.

In the review period, the country imported fuel worth Rs 175.87 billion; mills and machinery worth Rs 115.30 billion; iron and steel worth Rs 112.11 billion; vehicles worth Rs 77.82 billion and electronic and telecommunication equipment worth Rs 69.81 billion.

Likewise, top exports from the country were tea and coffee worth Rs 8.49 billion, yarn (Rs 7.57 billion), carpets (Rs 6.72 billion), apparel (Rs 5.67 billion) and iron and steel (Rs 4.66 billion), according to DoC.

Comparative figures




Rs 1,106.65bn

Rs 893.78bn


Rs 74.32bn

Rs 67.28bn


Rs 1,032.33bn

Rs 826.50bn

Source: DoC