Sri Lanka trade deficit narrows in first half 2007, oil imports down

August 16, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s trade deficit has narrowed 12 percent and oil imports had fallen 8 percent in the first half of 2007, the central bank said. Exports had grown 12.9 percent to 3.56 billion dollars while imports grew only 3.9 percent narrowing the trade deficit from 1.79 billion dollars to 1.58 billion dollars.

In the month of June exports grew 6.8 percent and imports fell 11.5 percent halving the trade balance from 307 million to 156 million dollars.

Central Bank said there was a sharp increase in imports in May.

Oil imports for the month fell 40 percent to 131 million dollars.

Imports declined in June 2007 followed by the highest monthly value recorded in May 2007. Imports in June 2007 declined from US dollars 940 million in 2006 to US dollars 832 million.

“Lower imports of petroleum, fertilizer, textile materials and other consumer goods led the overall decline in imports,” the Central Bank said.

“In consumer goods sector, the food and beverage category recorded a significant growth. Investment goods increased marginally, benefiting from higher imports of transport equipment and building materials.”

Whi