Economic Digest: Nepal’s Business News in a Snap « Khabarhub
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Economic Digest: Nepal’s Business News in a Snap

21 May 2024  

Time taken to read : 7 Minute

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KATHMANDU: Economic Digest offers a concise yet comprehensive overview of significant business happenings in Nepal, presented in easily digestible summaries.

Nepal’s trade deficit reaches Rs 1,177 billion as imports overwhelm exports

By mid-May of the current financial year, Nepal experienced a trade deficit of Rs 1177 billion. According to the Department of Customs, imports totaled Rs 1303 billion, while exports were just Rs 126 billion.

In the first 10 months, Nepal’s foreign trade amounted to Rs 1429 billion, a 2.50% decline from the same period last year. Imports decreased by 2.39%, and exports by 3.61%.

The trade deficit with India was Rs 729 billion, with imports from India at Rs 815 billion and exports to India at Rs 86 billion. The deficit with China was Rs 238 billion, with Chinese exports to Nepal at Rs 240 billion and imports from Nepal at Rs 22.74 billion.

Major imports included petroleum products (petrol Rs 115.67 billion, diesel Rs 56.80 billion, cooking gas Rs 46 billion) and mobile phones (Rs 24 billion). Key exports were carpets (Rs 8.79 billion), cardamom (Rs 6.91 billion), iron (Rs 5.52 billion), and palm oil (Rs 5.60 billion).

NEPSE shows strength

The Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) Index on Monday demonstrated a significant increase of 1.33%, equivalent to 27.54 points, concluding at 2,092 points by the end of Monday’s trading session, following a notable surge of 45.69 points in the preceding session.

Analyzing the data provided, it’s evident that NEPSE experienced a dynamic trading day. Despite starting the day at 2,069.88, the index showed resilience by bouncing back from its intraday low of 2,069.52 to reach a high of 2,121.01 before settling at 2,092.

The bustling trading environment is reflected in the statistics: a total of 315 stocks were traded in 80,982 transactions, with a substantial volume of shares totaling 14,370,689 and a turnover of Rs. 5.85 Arba. The market capitalization stood at Rs. 33.17 Kharba, with a float market capitalization of Rs. 11.28 Kharba.

The increase in NEPSE index points, accompanied by high trading activity and volume, indicates investor confidence and market optimism. Such gains are indicative of positive sentiment and may encourage further investment in the market.

Record-breaking surge propels Nepal’s gold market

The gold and silver trading arena in Nepal achieved unparalleled milestones, reaching an apex on May 20. According to the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Traders’ Association, the prices of fine gold witnessed a remarkable surge, skyrocketing by Rs. 900 to an extraordinary Rs. 1,41,800 per tola, marking a substantial increase from its previous rate of Rs. 1,40,900.

This peak surge was observed on May 19, 2024, when fine gold reached an unprecedented high of Rs. 1,40,900 per tola. Moreover, the price of silver has also experienced an upward trend of Rs. 30 per tola, establishing the new price at Rs. 1,940 per tola, an increase from yesterday’s rate of Rs. 1,910 per tola.

While domestic markets continue their upward trajectory, international dynamics play a pivotal role. Presently, the latest international gold rate stands at $2,448.20 per ounce, with silver priced at $32.15 per ounce in the global market.

This mentions the influence of international factors on the domestic market, indicating that global gold and silver prices play a significant role in determining prices in Nepal.

Nepal pledges adequate fertilizer supply

The government has vowed to ensure ample chemical fertilizer supply for the upcoming rice planting season, despite current shortages. Delays in procurement and distribution have historically hindered farmers’ access to agricultural inputs.

Presently, there are 78,179 tons of urea, 9,527 tons of DAP, and 11,800 tons of potash in stock, with additional imports expected by June’s end. The government aims to utilize existing stock for early planting and allocate imports for later start regions.

Nepal, heavily reliant on imports, faces an annual demand of 600,000 tons of fertilizers. Agriculture, contributing a quarter to Nepal’s economy, heavily relies on rice cultivation. In the latest fiscal year, rice production peaked at 5.724 million tons, showing a steady increase from previous years.

Cimex Inc. sets record: Sells 50 BYD electric vehicles in Nepal in one day

Cimex Inc Pvt Ltd, the authorized distributor of BYD Auto Industry Co Ltd in Nepal, achieved a milestone by selling 50 cutting-edge BYD electric vehicles (EVs) in a single day on May 18.

The event, held in Kathmandu, marked a shift towards eco-friendly transportation in Nepal. The company also introduced a 2017 model BYD e6 as a roadside assistance vehicle, emphasizing its commitment to customer satisfaction and safety. This initiative highlights Cimex’s dedication to providing comprehensive support to BYD EV owners for a seamless driving experience.

Tamor-Mewa Hydropower Project begins construction

Transformation The groundbreaking event for the highly anticipated 128 MW Tamor-Mewa hydropower project is set for May 23. Spark Hydroelectric Company Limited, the project’s initiator, announced the occasion, marking the commencement of construction.

Located in Taplejung, the project, estimated to cost Rs 24.032 billion, is designed as a run-of-river scheme. It aims to produce 711.43 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, with pricing at Rs 4.80 per unit in the wet season and Rs 8.40 per unit in the dry season.

With 75 percent bank loans and 25 percent promoter equity, the project promises to transform Nepal’s energy landscape, albeit facing challenges of financing and seasonal electricity demand.

(Compiled and prepared by Srija Khanal)

Economic Digest is a daily morning economic digest, basically relatable summations of the most important business news, and happenings from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries.

Publish Date : 21 May 2024 08:42 AM

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