Sri Lanka industrial exports surge in January, trade deficit narrows

Mar 31, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports surged 72.4 percent in January 2011 to 813.4 million US dollars, helped by 121.9 percent increase in apparel exports to 385.4 million US dollars, the Central Bank said. Consumer goods imports rose 35.6 percent to 316.7 million US dollars. Intermediate goods rose 15.7 percent while petroleum imports fell 10.4 percent to 364.9 million US dollars.

In Sri Lanka large volumes of petroleum in imported from power, but high rainfall reduced the need for thermal generation. Sri Lanka has also commissioned a coal power station, which Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said will stabilize petroleum imports.

The central bank said remittances increased 20.1 percent to 377 million rupees from a year earlier.

Remittances increase the income of domestic market participants and can increase the demand for goods and expand the trade gap. Imports of textiles had increased 55.2 per cent in January 2011, indicating more demand in the apparel export business.

Total industrial exports, which also includes rubber goods rose 92.5 percent to 615.8 million US dollars.

The Central Bank said exports to the European Union had increased 143.5 percent despite the loss of