Sri Lanka motor vehicle imports fell 29-pct in April; trade gap shrinks

Aug 01, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports fell 0.9 percent to 706.6 million US dollars in April 2016, while imports fell at a faster 2.0 percent to 1,460.9 million US dollars from a year earlier, official data showed.

The trade gap has also shrunk 2.9 percent to 754.3 million US dollars from a year earlier.

On a cumulative basis, the trade deficit during the first four months of 2016 contracted by 2.4 percent to 2,621 million US dollars from 2,685 million US dollars recorded during the same period last year.

Earnings from industrial exports, which account for 77 percent of total exports, increased by 3.1 percent compared to April 2015, mainly due to the improved performance of textiles and garments exports.

A 12.4 percent reduction recorded in agricultural exports, led by tea and spices, weighed down on the overall export performance in April 2016.

Export earnings from spices decreased significantly by 30.0 percent in April 2016 from a year earlier reflecting poor performance of cloves and pepper exports.

Exports earnings during the first four months of 2016 contracted by 4.5 percent to 3,435 million US dollars largely due to a reduction in export earnings from transport equipment and petroleum products.

In terms of imports, expenditure on personal motor vehicle imports decreased by 28.8 percent in April 2016, from a year earlier.

Expenditure on rice imports declined for the twelfth consecutive month to 1.2 million US dollars in April 2016 reflecting a 94.7 percent decrease due to the availability of rice in the local market.

During the first four months of 2016, the overall balance of payments is estimated to have recorded a deficit of 958.0 million US dollars in comparison to a deficit of 1,025.2 million US dollars recorded during the corresponding period of 2015.