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Trade deficit increases high

By Our Reporter
The country’s trade deficit has further widened in the first month of the current fiscal year. The growing trade deficit clearly suggests that all is not well with the country’s financial health.  And the significant growth in import and weakening rupees against the US dollar are blamed for the widening deficit.
Nepal’s trade deficit has reached Rs. 113.68 billion in the first month of the current fiscal year.
According to the Foreign Trade Statistic of Department of Customs, trade deficit increased by 62.35 per cent to Rs. 113.69 billion in the review period compared to same period last fiscal year.
Owing to significant growth of import against the sluggish growth of export, Nepal’s trade deficit has swollen, said economists.
During the review period, the country’s export trade stood only Rs. 6.92 billion against the import of Rs. 120 billion.
Nepal’s export rose by just 3.19 per cent against the growth of import by 57.18 per cent during the first month of the current fiscal year compared to same period last year.
Likewise, the import export ration reached at 17:4 in 2017/18.
During the review period, the country’s foreign trade has increased by 52.84 per cent to Rs. 127.53 billion.
Nepal’s faced the highest trade deficit with India followed by China during the review period. India is the largest trading partner of Nepal.
The trade deficit of Nepal with India has reached Rs. 67.01 billion while with China it is  Rs. 14.85 billion.
During the review period, Nepal imported goods worth Rs. 71 billion from India while it exported goods worth only Rs. 3.9 billion to the southern neighbour.
Likewise, Nepal exported goods worth Rs. 85 million to China and imported goods worth Rs. 14.93 billion.
Nepal’s third largest trade deficit is with France at Rs. 12.74 billion in first month of the current fiscal year. Nepal imported goods worth Rs. 12.82 billion from France against export of Rs. 78 million during the review period.
However, the government has not taken any measure to reduce the deficit. Instead, import of luxuries items has been increasing which will further increase the gap between the import and export trade. Import of petroleum products has increased by 87 per cent to Rs. 18.1 billion as more people have bought new cars.

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