KATHMANDU, Oct 30: Nepal’s trade deficit stood at Rs 366.88 billion, an increase by 2.15 percent, in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
The records maintained by the Department of Customs (DoC) show that the country’s trade deficit during mid-July and mid-October this year was Rs 7.70 billion more than that in the same period last year. In the review period of 2022/23, Nepal witnessed a trade deficit of Rs 359.17 billion.
This year, an increase in imports together with a fall in the export earnings led to an increase in the trade deficit. According to the DoC, imports increased by 1.69 percent to Rs 407.75 billion, while exports reduced by 2.26 percent to Rs 40.87 billion.
The import expenses surged in the third month of the current fiscal year, compared to the first two months when the imports volume declined 1.56 percent and 5.06 percent, respectively. In one month between mid-September and mid-October, Nepal imported goods worth Rs 148 billion.
Petroleum products topped the list of imported items in the review period. Import of diesel was recorded at Rs 29.92 billion, while those of petrol and cooking gas stood at Rs 17.10 billion and Rs 11.62 billion, respectively.
Nepal imported 642,415 units of smart phones worth Rs 9.43 billion. Likewise, Rs 7.35 billion drained from the country to purchase gold.
Nepal imported 2,135 units of electric vehicles worth Rs 5.17 billion in the first three months of the current fiscal year.
China and India were the main sellers of electric vehicles to Nepal. A total of 1,051 units of electric vehicles were purchased from China during the review period, while 1,031 units of the vehicles were imported from India. The electric vehicles of 51-kilowatt capacity had the largest shares in the segment.