Sri Lanka exports picking up: Central Bank

Oct 21, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports, which down 6.7 percent in August from a year earlier were showing a steady month on month rise with a recovery seen in the key apparel sector, the Central Bank said.

Mineral exports recorded a decline of 30.1 per cent, largely due to lower gem exports.

In the year to August exports were 4,551 million down 17.2 percent from the same period last year.

Total exports in August were 710 million, and had been growing from April.

“It is expected that exports will continue to increase during the remaining months of 2009 and in 2010, notwithstanding the uncertainties on the continuation of GSP+ concessions,” the Central Bank said.

GSP + an import tax concession from the Euro area may be lost to Sri Lanka over non-compliance with international conventions on civil and political rights and concerns over human rights and the implementation of rule of law.

The central bank said weakening Euro and Sterling, may help Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka rupee is pegged to the US dollar at 114.80/90 levels.

The import bill had fallen with weaker oil and fertilizer prices. The average import price of crude oil declined by 47.2 percent to 67.52 US dollars p