Trade deficit widens to Nu 32B

Export of electricity contributed Nu 13.03B

The government’s export promotion drive and import substitution did not so much result in improving the country’s trade balance, which began deteriorating since 2013.

The recent trade statistics show a trade deficit of Nu 32.10 billion (B) last year against Nu 32.80B in 2015.  The slight improvement last year could be attributed to the increased earnings from electricity export.

Had it not been for the electricity export worth Nu 13.03B, the country could have experienced a deficit of Nu 44.9B last year. In 2015, trade deficit excluding electricity export was Nu 44.68B.

The country has imported goods valued at Nu 67.36B, of which around 82 percent (Nu 55.28B) was from India. Likewise, the country’s export earning was valued at Nu 35.25B, of which 90 percent came from India. This means the country’s balance of trade with India is Nu 23.23B in the red and Nu 8.89B in deficit with countries other than India.

A country experiences a trade deficit or negative trade balance if its import bill is more than its export earning.

While electricity is the largest export commodity the country produces, the hydropower loan repayment of close to Nu 3B annually has to be  also financed from its  earning.

Diesel is the top import item valued at Nu 5.77B. Petrol and diesel combined came to Nu 7.53B in fuel expenses last year alone.

Increasing import of fuel can be attributed to the swelling import of vehicles and spare parts worth Nu 6.94B.

Bhutan imported Nu 3.84B worth of vegetable products classified under the BTC code. In return, the country earned Nu 2.87B from the export of the same commodity, leaving a deficit of about 963 million (M).

Dairy products and meat also resulted in an outflow of about Nu 1.48B and 998M respectively. As usual rice is one of the top 10 imported tems valued at Nu 1.53B. Motor vehicle for transport of goods, dumpers designed for off-highway use and machineries with a 360-degree revolving superstructure, among others, are in the top-ten import commodities.

However, apart from electricity, the country’s largest export earning in absolute terms is ferro-silicon. Last year, export of ferro-silicon resulted in an earning of Nu 6.83B. Cement and cardamom helped bring in Nu 1.6B and Nu 1.34B respectively.

Calcium carbide, dolomite, silicon carbide and potatoes are listed as the country’s top-ten export commodity.

After India, the top countries from where Bhutan imported most goods are Thailand, China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

Electricity remains the nucleus of the country’s trade balance. At a time when commissioning of mega power projects is being deferred, correcting the trade deficit could remain an uphill task because many economic projections has already been made based on the earning from these projects.

Tshering Dorji ( Kuensel)


Tag Cloud

Related Posts

Fish Centre Needs More Trout Feed

Mr Singye Tshering said there is a high demand for fish in the country and it is important to promote the culture among...

Jan 20, 2018 09:23

Farmers in Samtse Ready To Reap Quinoa

Farmers in Samtse are gearing up to harvest quinoa, a new crop which they started cultivating on a small scale as a...

Jan 18, 2018 07:18

Year Round Shiitake Mushroom Cultivation in Bhutan

An entrepreneur in Bhutan invents solar and electric incubator for year round Shiitake mushroom cultivation.

Jan 12, 2018 13:33

​Bhutan is the 3rd Fastest Growing Economy in 2017

Lyonchhen said that if one went by The Economist ‘World in numbers’ figures, then Bhutan is predicted to be the fastest...

Jan 03, 2018 11:36

Dophuchen youth take up agriculture business

Youths picking up agriculture business in Bhutan

Dec 27, 2017 12:52

Thimphu Tech Park Expansion Begins

Thimphu TechPark begins work to expand its infrastructure with the ground breaking ceremony (Salang Tendrel) for a new...

Dec 22, 2017 14:51

Latest

News

Bhutan Achieved 93% Youth Literacy Rate

93 percent of the students attend public schools, but the proportion of students attending public school decreases at higher education...

Jan 13, 2018 11:50

Japan Provides 353 More Power Tillers

The Ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu handed over 353 sets of power tillers and accessories worth Nu 137 million to the...

Jan 11, 2018 14:18

Features

Green House Initiative Benefits Highlanders

“With the introduction of green houses in the region, it’s much more convenient and cost saving for us because we don’t have to purchase...

Jan 21, 2018 13:50

Accreditation Of Colleges in Bhutan

An institution is graded on six core elements such as the curriculum, research and innovation, institutional linkage, management,...

Jan 16, 2018 11:05

Sports

Air Pistol Shooting in Bhutan

“I saw the sport on television. I did not know that it would be an interesting experience. It helps us improve breathing and concentration....

Jan 14, 2018 10:44

Martial Arts Gaining Popularity with Bhutanese Youth

The President of BIMA, Damber Singh Rai, said that the programme is aimed at engaging students during the winter break. “It is an exercise...

Jan 06, 2018 08:58

Business

Fish Centre Needs More Trout Feed

Mr Singye Tshering said there is a high demand for fish in the country and it is important to promote the culture among people.

Jan 20, 2018 09:23

Farmers in Samtse Ready To Reap Quinoa

Farmers in Samtse are gearing up to harvest quinoa, a new crop which they started cultivating on a small scale as a pilot project last year.

Jan 18, 2018 07:18

Travel

Duenmang Tshachu – A Popular Hotspring Known for its Healing Properties

Gothpo, 76, who has visited the tshachu, said that the Kheng Duenmang tshachu is a renowned hot spring with 'great healing powers'.

Jan 19, 2018 11:17

Snow Leopards – Ghosts of the Mountains

Called “ghosts of the mountains” by the Himalayan people because of their ability to mysteriously appear and disappear with equal stealth,...

Jan 17, 2018 10:30

Lifestyle

Reading Culture In Bhutan Improving

The public library has initiated a mobile bus book every Saturday for an hour and every Sunday for three to four hours making books...

Jan 22, 2018 07:40

Gyalsey, the Legacy of a Prince

In the 15 years of my life, the funniest yet saddest movie I have ever watched is Gyalsey, the legacy of a prince. Aired first in 2012, this...

Jan 09, 2018 07:10

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!