Sri Lanka exports fall in March, but tea, garments up

May 18, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s export earnings in March 2009 fell 7.8 percent to 627 million US dollars from a year-ago although the main exports of garments and tea went up, the central bank said. Exports of textiles and garment rose six percent to 310 million dollars despite recession in key Western markets that has slowed sales.

Exports of tea, the island’s main commodity export, went up 1.8 percent to 108.4 million dollars as the industry recovered from the effects of severe drought earlier in the year.

” . . despite the adverse impact of the global economic crisis, exports of textiles and garments, which accounted for about 50 percent of Sri Lanka’s exports, recorded an increase for the third consecutive month,” the central bank said.in its monthly statement on the country’s trade performance.

“Textiles and garments exports grew by 6.0 percent in March 2009 to 310 million US dollars, largely due to the measures taken by the government and the industry to adapt to the global economic circumstances.”

The government has reduced energy costs and promised support for exporters who maintain employment levels.

The central bank said that while textiles and garments exports