Exports drop 7.4-Pct in April 2015 YOY; trade gap widens: Central Bank


June 25, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s export earnings dropped 7.4 percent to 708 million US dollars in April 2015 from a year earlier mainly due to the reduction in tea and petroleum product exports, the Central bank said.

The reductions recorded in exports earnings from tea, petroleum products, sea foods, rubber products, textiles and garments has contributed to the drop in exports during the month.

Tea exports, which has been severely affected by lower demand from Russia and Middle East, has declined for the seventh consecutive month in April 2015, recording a drop of 12.7 percent over the corresponding month of 2014.

Tea exports to Russia and Middle East also declined by 39.0 percent and 5.5 percent respectively during the first four months of 2015 compared to the corresponding period in 2014.

Earnings from petroleum product exports declined by 42.7 percent in April 2015 as a result of around 40 percent price reduction and 6.6 percent volume drop recorded in bunker fuel exports.

Expenditure on imports has increased by 3.2 percent to 1,490 million US dollars in April 2015 from a year earlier despite the lower expenditure on imports of petroleum products.

Import expenditure on fuel has declined by 32.8 percent to 213 million US dollars in April 2015, due to non importation of crude oil during the month and about 38.5 percent decline recorded in the international prices of refined petroleum products.

The growth in imports was led by personal motor vehicles, followed by machinery and equipment and transport equipment, the Central Bank said.

Expenditure on vehicle imports has all most doubled to 94.4 million US dollars in April 2015 from a year.

The trade deficit in April 2015 widened by 15.1 percent to 783 million US dollars compared with 680 million US dollars a year earlier.