Sri Lanka export up 15.5-pct, Trade deficit widens

Exports

Oct 19, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s earning from exports increased by 15.5 percent (year-on-year) to US 1,001 million dollars in August 2017 with growth seen in the in industrial and agricultural exports.

The island surpassed the US 1 billion dollars mark for the second consecutive month, the Central Bank said.

“The increase in exports reflected the positive impact of the restoration of the GSP+ facility which gives duty free access to the European Union,” it said.

Earnings from industrial exports grew 13.1 percent (year-on-year) to US 740 million dollars in August 2017 with textiles and garments increasing 10.1 percent (year-on-year) to US 433 million dollars.

“Earnings from garments exports to the EU market increased by 12.2 percent (year-on-year) to US 186 million dollars in August 2017, contributing more than 68 per cent to the growth of garment exports.”

Earnings from agricultural exports increased 22.8 percent (year-on-year) to US 255 million dollars in August 2017.

Export earnings from tea increased 20.6 percent (year-on-year) to US 131 million dollars.

Meanwhile, export earnings from gems, diamonds and jewellery were up 23.6 percent, machinery and mechanical appliances 14.0 percent and rubber products 4.1 percent.

Export earnings from base metals and articles, printing industry products and transport equipment declined in August 2017.

However, there was a widening of the trade deficit due to an increase in the import costs.

Sri Lanka’s August trade deficit widened to US 856 million dollars from US 783 million dollars a year ago, with imports up 12.6 percent to US 1.86 billion dollars.

Fuel imports rose 73.0 percent (year-on-year) to US 312 million dollars with expenditure on crude oil up 12.2 percent.

Meanwhile, higher imports of chemical products, wheat and maize and food preparations contributed largely towards the increase in intermediate goods imports during the month.