Sri Lanka exports up 9.4-pct in April, trade gap down amid weak credit

June 20, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports grew 9.4 percent to 762.2 million US dollars, while imports fell 5.3 percent in April from a year earlier, amid weak domestic credit, allowing foreign reserves to grow, official data showed. However Sri Lanka’s credit growth has been weak or negative in the past few months.

When domestic credit is weak, all inflows are not quickly spent and resulting in liquidity build ups in the domestic banking system and an increase in foreign reserves at the Central Bank.

Foreign reserves rose to 8.9 billion US dollar by end April partly helped by a 500 million US sovereign dollar bond sale.

Corrected – Trade data relates to April 2014 Apparel exports grew 22.5 percent in April to 336.8 million dollars from a year earlier with strong demand from the US and EU, the Central Bank said. Small markets like Russia and also seen a strong growth.

Agricultural products grew 13.7 percent to 199.7 million dollars. Tea grew 9.8 percent to 116.8 million US dollars with both price and volume gains helping.

Rubber product exports fell 0.6 percent to 57.9 million US dollars.

Imports fell 5.3 percent to 1,444.5 million US dollars with consumer goods down 3.2 percent to 263.9 million