Sept 18, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka exports fell 18.9 percent in the 7-months to July while imports fell 35.3 percent as a trade contraction continued, while the trade deficit narrowed 6.5 percent to 1,883 million US dollars. In July exports fell 23.1 percent to 652.2 million compared with exceptionally high growth recorded last year, the Central Bank said. Tea exports were down 21.9 percent to 112.2 million US dollars.
Industrial exports were down 22.4 percent to 486.3 million US dollars, and textile and apparel exports were down 18.4 percent to 301.3 million dollars.
But the Central Bank said in the month of July exports at 652 million US dollars were the highest for any month so far, though lower than last year.
Rubber products exports fell 41.0 percent. But food grew 1.6 percent over last year due to an increase in fishery products.
Imports in July fell 35.3 percent to 912.3 million US dollars. The petroleum bill was down 25.3 percent in the month to 198.1 million US dollars. The trade deficit for the month contracted 37.3 percent to 260.0 million US dollars.
Private remittances, which together with net capital inflows (and net sterilization activities of the Central Bank) help drive the trade d