Export to China, Nepal’s second-largest trading partner after India, has jumped by 81.9 percent in the first four months [mid-July to mid-November] of the current fiscal year 2014/15 compared to the same period last fiscal year. The total export to the northern neighbor stood at Rs 1.18 billion during the review period, according to a report on the current macroeconomic situation released by the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB). The export had fallen 27.1 percent in the corresponding period to the last fiscal year 2013/14 to stand at Rs 651.4 million.
NRB, the central bank, attributed the increase to a surge in the export of tanned skin, woolen carpet, handicraft items, and readymade garments among other things. Tanned skin topped the chart of commodities in terms of export volume followed by handicraft items and woolen craft. These items fetched Rs 117.3 million, Rs 58.8 million and Rs 35.7 million, respectively.
Despite significant rise in exports to China during the period, Nepal’s trade deficit with China and the major trading partner India continues to widen. According to the report, Nepal’s total trade deficit during the four months of 2014/15 grew by 27.4 percent to Rs 227.36 billion compared to an increase of 17.1 percent during the same period of the previous year.
Trade deficit with India and China increased by 24.7 percent and 48.5 percent respectively. Similarly, exports to India decreased by 4.9 percent during the review period in contrast to an increase by 18 percent in the corresponding period of the previous year. Export of major products like cardamom, roofing sheets, jute goods and copper wire rod, among other things, have decreased significantly.