Sri Lanka’s exports declined 4.2 pct in June while imports up: Central Bank

Exports

Aug 21, 2015 (LBO) –Sri Lanka’s exports earnings recorded a decline of 4.2 per cent, year-on-year, to 944 million US dollars in June 2015, led by lower earnings from tea, textiles and garments, rubber products and seafood exports.

Total imports rose 13.5 percent to 1.33 billion dollars led by imports of vehicles for personal usage and business purposes, the Economic Research Department of the Central Bank said.

“On a cumulative basis, earnings from exports declined marginally by 0.6 per cent during the first six months of the year mainly due to a lower performance of agricultural exports despite the growth in industrial exports,” it said.

Earnings from industrial exports declined by 1.6 per cent to 713.8 million US dollars while agricultural exports declined by 11.5 percent to 226.7 million US dollars.

Tea exports, which were severely affected by the lower demand from Russia and the Middle East, declined for the eleven consecutive month in June 2015, recording a drop of 20.1 per cent to 121.9 million US dollars compared to the corresponding month of 2014.

Sea Food exports which dropped continuously from October 2014, recorded a further decline of 26.7 per cent to 13.5 million US dollars in June 2015, compared to the corresponding month in 2014, amid the ban by EU.

Earnings from transport equipment, however, increased significantly due to the export of a cruise ship to India. Export of petroleum products too rose due to a more than two fold growth in bunker fuel volume despite 50 percent drop in bunker fuel prices.

“Earnings from spice exports increased more than 40 per cent as exports of all categories of spices performed well during the month,” the central bank said.

The exporters association has targeted 50 billion dollars worth of exports by 2020, but analysts say this would require significant value addition.