Dec 23, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s export earnings in October 2011 fell 4.9 percent to 882 million US dollars from a year ago mainly owing to a fall in earnings from tea shipments, the island’s main agricultural export. Imports in October shot up 41 percent to 1.75 billion dollars over the same period largely owing to inflows of investment goods and higher petroleum prices, the central bank said in a statement.
The trade gap in October 2011 widened 180 percent 869 million dollars.
However, during the first ten months of 2011, the cumulative earnings from exports increased by 23.4 percent to 8.7 billion US dollars compared with the same period of 2010.
Imports were up 51 percent to 16.4 billion dollars in the 10 months to October 2011 from the previous year, with the trade gap doubling to 7.7 billion dollars during the period.
The central bank said that the fall in exports in October 2011 reflected the high base of exports in October 2010 and contraction in exports of tea, rubber and minor agricultural crops this year.
Industrial exports grew 12.8 percent in October 2011 compared to the corresponding month of 2010, the central bank said.
Earnings from agricultural exports, which accounted f