Sri Lanka exports up on commodity boom; imports recover

May 10, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports grew 20 percent 629 million US dollars in February 2010 on the back of booming agricultural commodities while apparel, the country’s main industrial export, contracted 9.7 percent to 248.6, official data showed. The Central Bank said apparel exports however had improved from January.

Earnings from tea grew 56.4 percent to 169.9 million US dollars with volumes also growing 20 percent. The central bank said tea prices were up 25.7 percent to 4.35 dollars per kilogram due to ‘supply shortages’.

Meanwhile rubber volumes increased 44.1 percent and prices had risen 95.4 percent from a year earlier “due to the recovery in international demand” and there were also “supply shortages” due to rain in main rubber producing countries, the central bank said.

“Earnings from minor agricultural exports increased due to higher prices fetched by fruits, coffee, and cocoa products and increased volumes of vegetables, arecanuts, cashew and essential oils,” the Central Bank said.

“Export earnings from certain spices, such as cinnamon and cloves increased, led by higher volumes and prices.”

Commodities including oil had bounced back from lows from a burst bubble in 2008, but prices of sugar and rubber came o