June 22, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka exports fell 28.2 percent in April to 437.6 million US dollars from a year ago, imports fell 53.2 percent to 604.3 million dollars, shrinking the trade deficit 75.9 percent to 166.7 million dollars, the Central Bank said. In the 4-months to April, exports were down 16.2 percent to 2,085 million US dollars, and imports were down 36.9 percent to 2,891.1 million dollars and the trade deficit shrank 61.5 percent to 806.1 million US dollars.
The fall in April exports was led by a 24.0 percent fall in industrial exports to 347.2 million with apparels falling 10.1 percent to 227.0 million US dollars.
Apparels had been buoyant in the first quarter.
“Despite the confidence expressed by the industry of having confirmed orders, some orders were canceled or postponed amidst uncertainties about the strength and duration of the global economic downturn,” the Central Bank said.
Apparel sales to the European Union had fallen 17.6 per cent to 103 million US dollars. US sales had picked up 4.4 per cent to 103 million US dollars in April.
Tea prices had risen to 3.99 dollars per kilogram almost to the level of 4.00 dollars seen during the commodity bubble last year, but volumes were d