Sri Lanka exports drop 11.2-pct in March, trade gap widens

July 01, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports fell a faster 11.2 percent to 945.4 million US dollars in March 2016 while imports fell at a slower 0.9 percent widening the trade gap, Central Bank data showed.

The largest contribution for exports decline came from transport equipment followed by exports of spices.

Earnings from transport equipment declined by 76.6 percent while export earnings from spices decreased by 37.7 percent in March 2016 against previous year.

Earnings from textiles and garments exports, which accounted for 46.7 percent of total export earnings, increased by 3.2 percent to 442 million US dollars in March 2016, reflecting growth in exports to the USA and non-traditional markets.

The largest contribution for imports decline was led by the reductions recorded in import expenditure on transport equipment, personal motor vehicles and wheat and maize.

Import expenditure on transport equipment and personal motor vehicles decreased by 61.6 percent and 39.4 percent respectively.

Import expenditure on wheat and maize decreased substantially by 97.6 percent due to non-importation of wheat by Prima Ceylon during the month of March 2016.

The deficit in the trade account expanded by 20.2 percent in March 2016 amounting to 621 million US dollars compared to 516 million US dollars in March 2015.

However, cumulative trade deficit during the first three months of 2016 contracted by 2.2 percent to 1,867 million US dollars from 1,908 million US dollars recorded during the same period of 2015.

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