Jan 07, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports fell 6.0 percent to 847.3 million US dollars in October 2015 from a year earlier while imports fell at a faster 6.4 percent to 1.64 billion US dollars, official data showed.
The trade gap fell 6.8 percent to 791.0 million US dollars from a year earlier.
The Central Bank said continued decline in demand for tea from Russia and the Middle East mainly caused tea export earnings to decline significantly by 11.2 percent.
Export earnings from garments, which contribute nearly 43 percent to total exports, declined by 3.6 percent in October, reflecting significantly lower exports to EU markets.
The largest contribution for imports reduction had come from fuel imports, followed by rice, textile and textile articles.
The average import price of crude oil has declined to 49.3 US dollars per barrel in October 2015 compared to 99.4 US dollars per barrel recorded in October 2014.
Gross official reserves stood at 6.5 billion US dollars as at end October 2015, equivalent to 4.0 months of imports, with total foreign assets amounting to 8.0 billion US dollars, equivalent to 5.0 months of imports.
The Sri Lankan rupee has depreciated 9.03 percent during the year up to December 31, 2015.
The rupee has appreciated against the Australian dollar by 2.42 percent and the euro by 1.30 percent, while depreciating against the Japanese yen by 8.20 percent, the pound sterling by 4.46 percent and the Indian rupee by 4.62 percent during this period.