According to the Department of Customs, Nepal’s export earnings were Rs 74.96 billion, only one-tenth of the hefty import of Rs 768.16 billion from mid-July to mid-January.

Despite this, there was a modest 2.62 percent decline in the overall trade deficit, reaching Rs 693.19 billion in the review period.

Trade dynamics with India significantly contributed to the deficit, with a trade imbalance of Rs 424.44 billion.

China, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, and Malaysia also posed challenges, with deficits of Rs 145.79 billion, Rs 12.26 billion, Rs 9.96 billion, and Rs 8.60 billion, respectively.

The USA emerged as a positive trade partner, recording a surplus of Rs 703.6 million.

Import categories revealed a significant outflow towards petroleum products, with Nepal importing diesel, petrol, and cooking gas worth Rs 66.49 billion, Rs 33.91 billion, and Rs 25.45 billion respectively.

On the export front, cement and cement clinkers showed promise, reaching Rs 1.76 billion during mid-July and mid-January, surpassing the total export value for the entire previous fiscal year, which stood at Rs 779.3 million in 2022/23.