The country's merchandise exports in the first eight months of the current fiscal year outpaced the total exports of fiscal 2020-21, setting a new all-time high record.

The country's exports soared by 82.90 per cent to Rs 147.75 billion in between mid-July to mid-March against Rs 80.78 billion recorded in the same period of previous fiscal, according to the Nepal Foreign Trade Statistics unveiled by the Department of Customs (DoC).


Nepal's total merchandise exports in the last fiscal year stood at Rs 141.12 billion, a previous record high.

"The main reason for the exponential growth in exports was due to increased exports of refined soyabean oil and refined palm oil," explained Punya Bikram Khadka, director of DoC.

The top export commodities were refined soyabean oil, refined palm oil and woollen carpets.

The import growth, meanwhile, stood at 38.64 per cent to Rs 1.31 trillion compared to Rs 943.99 billion in the eight months of the fiscal year 2020-21.

Petroleum products continued to be the top import commodity during the review period, followed by crude soyabean oil and crude palm oil.

Neighbouring countries India and China were the top trade partners during the review period, with whom the country also has the highest deficit. Nepal exported goods worth Rs 118.84 billion to India, while importing merchandise worth a staggering Rs 797.24 billion from the southern neighbour.

Similarly, exports to China amounted to Rs 545.84 million, while imports from the northern neighbour was Rs 186.15 billion.

The country's trade deficit increased by 34.50 per cent to Rs 1.16 trillion by mid-March this year, as per the DoC data.

The trade deficit was Rs 863.21 billion in the eight months of last fiscal.

The country's total foreign trade surged by 42.13 per cent to Rs 1.46 trillion. The total foreign trade was recorded at Rs 1.02 trillion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, 2020-21.

The imports-to-exports ratio in the review period fell by 24.20 per cent to 8.86. This means Nepal imported $8.86 worth of goods for every dollar's worth of goods exported.

However, it was an improvement from the 11.69 recorded in the corresponding period of previous fiscal.

The share of exports in the total trade was 10.14 per cent, which was an increase of 28.69 per cent against its share of only 7.88 per cent in the eight months of the previous fiscal.

The share of imports to total trade, on the other hand, actually slipped by 2.45 per cent to 89.86 per cent in the review period. The share of imports to total trade in the eight months of earlier fiscal was 92.12 per cent.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 22, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.