Sri Lanka trade deficit widens in September; 9-month deficit still down

Nov 14, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s trade deficit widened in September to 281 million from 199 million a year ago, but the gap for the first nine months of the year was still 7.5 percent lower than last year. Exports grew 19.2 percent to 724.6 million in September with imports also rising 24.9 percent.

Agricultural exports grew by 35.0 per cent with tea surging 39.9 percent on price and volume growth. Apparel exports grew 7.2 percent to 291.6 million dollars

The cumulative export earnings in the first nine months of 2007 were up 12.6 percent to 5,651 million US dollars.

Imports grew 24.9 per cent, to 1,006 million US dollars in September with petroleum imports doubling to 268 million dollars, the Central Bank said. Fertilizer imports had also picked up.

“The declining trend in the import of motor vehicles for personal use observed in the recent past continued further,” the Central Bank said.

“Investment goods imports, which grew with marked increases in building materials, transport equipment and machinery and equipment, are likely to continue on a high growth path, with the implementation of several infrastructure projects by the government.”

From January to September imports