Sri Lanka exports fall 6 pct in September, imports down 5-pct

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Dec 08, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka external trade continued to contract in September with exports falling 5.9 percent to 850 million US dollars and imports falling 5.1 percent to 1,583 million US dollars, compared to the same month last year, official data showed.

The Central Bank said industrial exports fell 4.7 percent to 636 million US dollars led by subdued performance of rubber products, gems, diamonds and jewellery, machinery and mechanical appliances and printing industry.

However the apparel sector showed a growth of 1.8 percent to 411 million US dollars reflecting a expansion in garments exports to non-traditional markets such as Canada, Australia, India, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.

Agriculture exports declined by 11.3 percent to 205 US dollars with Tea exports falling 20.4 percent.

The fall in imports was led by investment goods which fell 16.1 percent to 360 million US dollars while intermediate goods fell 4.8 percent to 829 million US dollars.

The trade gap fell 4.1 percent to 733 million US dollars.

Sri Lanka’s gross official reserves stood at 6.8 billion US dollars as at end September 2015, equivalent to 4.2 months of imports, with total foreign assets amounting to US dollars 8.4 billion, equivalent to 5.2 months of imports.