Nu 34bn generated from export of top 10 commodities in 2022 

Nu 34bn generated from export of top 10 commodities in 2022 

However, import of top ten commodities rose to Nu 118bn, offsetting revenue generated from the exports

The country generated about Nu 34bn in revenue last year from the export of the country’s top ten commodities, which is an increase by about Nu 840mn as compared to 2021. According to figures from the department of revenue and custom (DRC), the top ten commodities include ferro-silico-manganese, silicon, boulders, neither crushed or ground, pebbles, dolomite chips, gypsum, dolomite slabs, ordinary portland cement and portland pozzolana cement. According to the DRC and the Bhutan Trade Statistics, Italy has become the third country that Bhutan exported goods to, while China comes next in line to India in relation to imports into Bhutan.

Amongst the top ten commodities, containing by weight more than 55% of silicon made the highest export worth Nu 16.21bn, ferro-silico-manganese with Nu 3.03bn, dolomite chips with Nu 1.81bn and boulders with Nu 1.62bn, followed by neither crushed nor ground made worth Nu 1.32bn.

Similarly, pebbles worth Nu 1.26bn was exported, followed by dolomite slabs with Nu 1.01bn, and gypsum worth Nu 921mn. The last two on the list of exported commodities includes ordinary Portland cement and Portland pozzolana cement worth Nu 743mn and Nu 557mn each consecutively.

Meanwhile, the top five countries that Bhutan exported to are India, Bangladesh and Italy followed by South Korea and Vietnam. Bhutan also exports commodities to countries like United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, Germany, amongst others.

According to DRC, about Nu 26.69bn worth of commodities were exported to India, and about Nu 4.66bn worth of commodities to Bangladesh. Italy came third with the country taking in commodities worth Nu 1.74bn; followed by Nepal and South Korea with Nu 462mn and Nu 157mn each and the least export were made towards Malaysia and Cambodia with about Nu 2.29mn and Nu 2.18mn each.

Similarly, Phuntsholing region made the highest export to India worth Nu 16.74bn of commodities, followed by Samdrup Jongkhar region with about Nu 4.9bn, Samtse region with about Nu 3.9bn and Gelephu region with Nu 1.08bn worth of commodities, according to the Bhutan trade statistics 2022.

However, the amount that Bhutan spends to import the top ten commodities rose to Nu 118bn last year, an increase by Nu 28.56bn as compared to the top ten commodities in the year 2021, according to the figures maintained by DRC and Bhutan trade statistics 2022.

The increase in the import of the top ten commodities is mainly attributed to increase in the import of the processing units worth Nu 11.90bn, followed by other light oils and preparation (HDS) worth of Nu 8.73bn, coke and semi-coke worth of Nu 4.09bn.

The top ten imported commodities include, processing units, other light oils and preparations (HSD), coke and semi-coke, motor spirit (gasoline) including aviation spirit (petrol), semi-milled or wholly milled rice, Ferrous products, Smart phones, Cigarettes containing tobacco. 

While the country made the highest import of the commodities from India with import of commodities worth Nu 85.09bn, the second was from by China with goods worth Nu 15.82bn imported. Bhutan also imported from Thailand and Singapore goods worth Nu 3.32bn and Nu 2.87bn each.

Similarly, most of the imports were made through Phuentsholing region with Nu 64.24bn, followed by Samdrup Jongkhar region with Nu 9.52bn, Gelephu region with Nu 7.50bn and Samtse region with Nu 3.56bn worth of commodities.

Meanwhile, the trade deficit of the country stood at Nu 61.92bn last year, an increase by Nu 29.68bn as compared to 2021. The trade deficit is usually experienced when the value of the imports exceeds the value of the export.

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu