Thirst for fuel swells Sri Lanka’s import bill for August

Sri Lanka’s never ending thirst for fuel has weighed down the country’s import bill for August, negating export gains from the apparel and rubber industries, the island’s Central Bank said Wednesday. Sri Lanka’s never ending thirst for fuel has weighed down the country’s import bill for August, negating export gains from the apparel and rubber industries, the island’s Central Bank said Wednesday. Spending for petroleum imports rose 41 percent to US$ 157 million during the period, while cumulative oil bill for the eight months to August has cost the island US$ 996.5 million (up 34 percent).

The excessively high bill is also due to rise in volumes as well as prices, the bank said while commenting on the island’s external trade performance in August.

Sri Lanka’s import bill for August 2005 ballooned 19 percent to US$ 787 million, while exports earnings grew 21 percent to US$ 584 million.

Textiles and garments, which commands a 47 percent of export revenues, posted a modest 12.8 percent or US$ 272 million over the corresponding period August 2004.

Revenues from tea grew 6.5 percent to US$ 68.7 million while rubber bounced up 100 percent to US$ 48 million.

Meanwhile, the country’s