Sri Lanka exports down in January as apparel shipments fall

Apr 08, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports fell in January 2010 owing to a sharp fall in apparel shipments, the island’s main industrial export, despite higher agricultural export earnings, interrupting a recovery in the export sector, the Central Bank said. The bank said in a statement that exports fell 3.9 percent to 472 million US dollars in January 2010 from 491.1 million dollars a year ago.

Imports shot up 70.1 percent to 1,160.9 million dollars from 682.6 million dollars the year before, mainly on higher petroleum import expenditure.

As a result, the trade gap in January 2010 widened to 688.9 million dollars from 191.5 million dollars the year before.

Agricultural exports rose 41.1 percent to 142.5 million dollars in January 2010 with export earnings from tea, Sri Lanka’s main net export earner, up 47.7 percent to 90.9 million dollars from the year before.

“Earnings from agricultural exports increased in January 2010, as a result of a sound performance by the tea, rubber and minor agricultural exports,” the statement said.

“Export volumes of both tea and rubber rose by 18.5 percent and 32.6 percent, supported by significant increases in export prices, to 4.32 US dollars a kilo and 2.79 US dollars a kilo from December 2009.”