Sri Lanka exports fell 5-pct in June, trade gap widens 6-pct

Sept 05, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports fell 5.0 percent to 897 million US dollars in June 2016, while imports dropped a slower 0.2 percent to 1,676 million US dollars from a year earlier, official data showed.

The trade gap further widened 6.0 percent to 779 million US dollars from a year earlier due to the steeper reduction in exports comparison to the decline in imports.

For the six months to June, the trade gap widened 2.2 percent to 4,213 million US dollars from a year ago.

Export earnings

Earnings from exports declined for the 16th consecutive month in June on yearly basis, led by lower export performance recorded in petroleum products, transport equipment and spices, the Central Bank said.

Export earnings from petroleum products, decreased considerably by 53.2 percent in June owing to the combined effect of lower bunkering quantities and lower average bunkering prices.

The Central Bank said, earnings from transport equipment dropped 74.7 percent mainly due to the significantly higher level of exports recorded in June 2015 owing to export of two cruise ships.

Textiles and garments earnings grew a slower 1.4 percent to 430 million US dollars as a result of higher garment exports to USA and non-traditional markets such as Canada, China and UAE.

Import expenditure

Expenditure on vehicles, wheat and fertilizer declined significantly during the month while personal motor vehicle imports declined by 52.0 percent and transport equipment by 38.0 percent.

Expenditure on wheat declined by 88.9 percent while expenditure on fertilizer declined by 77.1 percent.

During the first six months of 2016, the overall BOP is estimated to have recorded a deficit of 1,186 million US dollars.