Nepal spent Rs 257.66 billion to import 10 commodities, including petroleum, vehicles and gold, in fiscal year 2012-13.
These 10 commodities account for around 50 percent of the country’s total imports.
As usual, petroleum continued to be the No 1 import item. In 2012-13, Nepal imported petroleum products worth Rs 107 billion — up 16.1 percent. In 2011-12, petroleum import bill was at Rs 92.25 billion.
With automobile business bouncing back in the last fiscal year, import of vehicles and spare parts increased by a whopping 54.2 percent to Rs 26.29 billion.
A total of 208,483 vehicles were registered in 2012-13, the highest so far in a fiscal year, according to Department of Transport Management. Vehicle registration had last crossed the 200,000-mark in 2009-10, when 201,787 automobiles were registered.
Former president of Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association Saurav Jyoti said the decline in bank interest rates on auto loans along with easy financing services helped boost the auto business, pushing up imports.
Amid surge in the gold price, the country imported the precious yellow metal worth Rs 26.11 billion in 2013-13, compared to Rs 25.77 billion in the previous year.
With the establishment of more steel industries, import of MS Billet, a major raw material for steel production, has been continuously surging. In 2012-13, MS Billet imports rose by 14.77 to Rs 22.30.
Imports of telecommunications equipment also posted a 59.52 percent rise amid telecom operators’ infrastructure expansion drive. Operators spent Rs 13.48 billion in the last fiscal year for the purpose.
Despite an increase in the number of pharmaceutical companies and their expanded product portfolio, import of medicines continued to grow. Nepal imported medicines worth Rs 13.71 billion last year — up 28.42 percent.
The official annual import data also throw some interesting facts. Reliance on cement imported from India hasn’t decreased despite growing number of Nepali cement factories. Cement imports surged by a whopping 185 percent in last year to reach Rs 9.42 billion.
Among food items, rice imports almost doubled to Rs 8.45 billion, while import of vegetable surged by 75.7 percent to Rs 4.54 billion. Sugar imports saw a massive
967 percent rise. Nepal imported sugar worth Rs 1 billion last year compared to Rs 99 million in the previous fiscal year.
TOP TEN IMPORTS
|Petroleum products||Rs 75.08b||Rs 92.25b||Rs 107.13b|
|Vehicles||Rs 20.68b||Rs 17.05b||Rs 26.29b|
|Gold||Rs11.35b||Rs 25.77b||Rs 26.11b|
|MS Billet||Rs 18.33b||Rs 19.43b||Rs 22.30b|
|Machinery Parts||Rs 16.20b||Rs 15.35b||Rs 20.14b|
|Telecom equipments||Rs 9.49b||Rs 8.45b||Rs 13.48b|
|Medicine||Rs 9.80b||Rs 10.38b||Rs 13.33b|
|Crude Soyabean Oil||Rs 6.50b||Rs 9.96b||Rs 10.62b|
|Cement||Rs 4.37b||Rs 3.30b||Rs 9.42b|
|Silver||Rs 3.72b||Rs 4.37b||Rs 8.78b|