KATHMANDU, Feb 5: Nepal suffered record trade deficit of Rs 251.66 billion over the first half of 2012/13, arise of 27 percent compared to figures of the corresponding period last year, mainly due to significant rise in imports from India.
During the review period, Nepal imported goods worth Rs 289.89 billion whereas exports was limited to Rs 38.23 billion, shows data compiled by Trade and Export Promotion Center (TEPC).
Share of exports in country´s trade has dipped to record low of 11.7 percent, thanks to Nepal´s weak supply capacity given the slowing industrial outputs.
Country´s total trade during the period was worth Rs 328.12 billion - a rise of 21.3 percent compared to figures in the same period last year.
According to TEPC, woolen carpet, iron and steel product, readymade garment, cardamom, tea, pashmina shawl, textile, Nepali paper product, yarn, ginger, lentil, noodle, cardamom, handicraft, medicinal herb were the major products exported during the period.
Country´s total exports increased by 4.1 percent largely due to 24.42 percent rise in exports to India - the largest trading partner - during the first six months of 2012/13.
Iron and steel products were the country´s largest export during the review period.
Exports of iron and steel product increased by 6.9 percent to Rs 5.94 billion during the review period. Similarly, Nepal exported woolen carpets worth Rs 2.58 billion, yarns worth Rs 2.84 billion, textile amounting to Rs 2.58 billion and cardamom valued at Rs 1.83 billion during the first half of 2012/13.
Similarly, overall imports jumped by a whopping 24 percent during the review period with imports from India rising by an alarming 150 percent compared to the same period last year.
Petroleum product was the country´s largest imports during the review period. According to TEPC, the country imported petroleum products worth Rs 50.67 billion in first half of 2012/13 - a rise of 22.4 percent compared to figures of same period last year.
Nepal imported iron and steel products amounting to Rs 28.86 billion, transport vehicles and parts worth Rs 16.68 billion, machinery and parts valued at Rs 15.33 billion and gold worth Rs 13.28 billion during the review period.
Though the government had limited imports of gold to 15 kg per day, import of the precious metal jumped by 14.3 percent compared to the figures of same period last year.
Top five imports