Sri Lanka May 2009 clothing exports fall, tea shipments up

July 13, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s May 2009 export earnings fell 27.8 percent to 538.5 million US dollars from year ago, mainly because of lower clothing exports, although tea exports went up, the Central Bank said. Imports of consumer goods fell by 41.2 percent to 140 million US dollars, largely on account of lower commodity prices.

While spending on sugar increased on account of higher prices amid the global supply constraint, expenditure on other commodities, such as rice, wheat and dairy products declined in May 2009.

Spending on non-food consumer goods declined by 36.8 percent, led by motor vehicles.

Imports of intermediate goods declined by 42.6 percent in May 2009, mainly due to the lower expenditure incurred on petroleum imports, the Central Bank said.

“Imports of investment goods also declined by 43.8 percent, mainly due to the lower expenditure incurred on imports of building materials and machinery and equipment.”

The cumulative expenditure on imports declined by 38.0 percent to 3,605 million US dollars in the January – May 2009 period compared with the same period a year ago.

The cumulative trade deficit in the first five months decreased by 61.9 percent to 982 millio