Earnings from merchandise exports rebounded in June to USD 906mn: EDB

Earnings from merchandise exports rebounded in June 2020 to US $ 906.02 Mn as per the Customs statistics, with the export sector progressively commencing actions following the relaxation of lockdown measures and the recovery of both domestic and global supply and demand chains to some extent.

“Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe mentioned, “the bounce is certainly back in exports which has now become the breadwinner for Sri Lankas favourable trade balance. Exports have become a national priority, now more than ever, it is certainly impressive to see a strong V shaped recovery in the export sector, comparatively to the lowest point in April 2020, exports are up 327%. I thank the entire export community for serving the national economic needs at our most vulnerable time and we at the EDB stand ready to serve our export community”

Export Earnings from Merchandise in June 2020 increased by 50.4% compared with the value recorded in May 2020. However, in comparison to June 2019, earnings from merchandise exports declined by 16.42%.

Source: Sri Lanka Customs

Export earnings from Apparel & Textiles increased 83.72% to US$ 402.04 Mn during the month of June 2020 compared with US$ 218.83 Mn recorded in May 2020. However, 20.22% decline recorded in June 2020 in comparison to June 2019.

Export earnings from tea increased as both values (6.14%) and volumes (4.52%) increased in June 2020 compared with May 2020. In addition, export earnings from tea recorded 1.55% increase in June 2020 in comparison to June 2019.

Earnings from all the major categories of Coconut based products increased in June 2020 compared with June 2019 due to the improved performance in export of Coconut Oil, Cocopeat & Activated Carbon.

In addition, Export earnings from Rubber & Rubber finished products increased by 34.58% to US$ 68.89 Mn during the month of June 2020 compared with May 2020.  With the poor performance recorded in  tyre sector, Export of Rubber & Rubber finished products decreased by 14.74% during the month of June 2020 compared with the same month in the previous year.

Export earnings from Spices and Essential Oils increased significantly in June 2020 compared with May 2020 as the growth in cinnamon (81.7%), pepper (84.78%), nutmeg and mace (106.67%) and essential oils (22.75%). In parallel export earnings from Spices and Essential Oils increased by 29.96% in June 2020 in comparison to June 2019.

Earnings from seafood increased by 13.7% to US$ 24.32 Mn in June 2020 in comaprision to US$ 21.39 Mn recorded in June 2019 and also increased by 110.93% in June 2020 compared with May 2019 due to the better performance of export of frozen fish.

Meanwhile, export earnings from Food & Beverages (-8.36%) and Electrical & Electronic Products (-6.28%) declined during the month of June 2020 compared with June 2019.

Moreover, led by a higher demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, protective suits, surgical gloves, etc., earnings from exports of Apparel & Textiles and Rubber & rubber-based products grew significantly during the month of June 2020. PPE related exports recorded US$ 106.46 Mn in June 2020.

When considering the disaggregated level, Exports of Rubber Gloves (Industrial & Surgical), Liquid Coconut Milk, Cocopeat, Made-Up Textile Articles, Areca Nuts, Coconut Cream, Cinnamon, Pepper, Essential Oils, Frozen fish, Lentils and Plastic Gloves recorded positive growth rates, while other sectors such as Rubber Products (-14.74%), Food & Beverages (-8.36%), Electronics & Electronic Components (-6.28%) and Petroleum Products (-7.98%) recorded negative growth rates during the month of June 2020 compared with the month of June 2019.

Table 1: Merchandise Export Performance

                                                                                                            Values in US$ Mns

Product 2019 Jan-June 2020 Jan-June % Growth 2019 June 2020 June % Growth
Apparel & Textiles 2,752.58 1,936.66 -29.64 503.91 402.04 -20.22
Tea 684.95 571.66 -16.54 113.18 114.93 1.55
Coconut & Coconut based Products 314.05 281.61 -10.33 54.53 65.01 19.22
Rubber & Rubber Based Products 457.11 349.17 -23.61 80.80 68.89 -14.74
Electrical & Electronic Products 195.38 144.11 -26.24 33.14 31.06 -6.28
Food, Feed & Beverages 193.06 156.28 -19.05 34.47 31.59 -8.36
Spices, Essential Oils & Oleoresins 144.09 114.49 -20.54 24.40 31.71 29.96
Fish & Fisheries Products 151.61 105.5 -30.41 22.50 26.30 16.89
Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables 37.08 30.59 -17.50 5.57 6.72 20.65
Cut Flowers & Foliage 10.09 6.64 -34.19 1.73 1.47 -15.03
Other Export Crops 14.38 39.16 172.32 2.56 9.30 263.28
Diamonds, Gems & Jewellery 157.79 71.16 -54.90 23.28 10.13 -56.49
Footwear and Leather 46.14 17.3 -62.51 5.73 3.56 -37.87
Base Metal Products 90.69 55.46 -38.85 13.83 9.63 -30.37
Petroleum Products 165.66 170.65 3.01 32.21 29.64 -7.98
Others 515.08 311.9 -39.45 132.17 64.04 -51.55
Total 5,929.74 4,362.34 -26.43 1,084.01 906.02 -16.42

Sources:  Sri Lanka Customs / Sri Lanka Export Development Board

January – June 2020

Total export earning for January to June 2020 was US$ 4,362.34 Mn compared to US $ 5,929.74 Mn recorded in a similar period of the previous year – a decline of 26.43%. This is a 58% achievement of Revised Merchandise Export Target of US$ 7,521 Mn in 2020.

Major Exports such as Apparel & Textiles (US$ 1,936.66 Mn), Tea (US$ 571.66 Mn) and Coconut & Coconut Based Products (US$ 281.59Mn) and Rubber & Rubber based products (US$ 349.17 Mn) recorded decrease of 29.64%, 16.54%, 10.33% and 23.62% respectively during Jan-June 2020 compared to the similar period of previous year. Petroleum & Other Export crops recorded positive growth rates during the period.

The export sectors that shows a positive growth at disaggregate level includes export of Natural Rubber, Industrial & surgical gloves, Coconut cream, Coconut Milk, Coconut Vinegar, Coconut Shell Charcoal, Pineapples, Arecanuts, Tamarind, Ginger, Essential oils, lemons, Sweat Potatoes and Lentils etc.

The top export destinations during the period Jan-June 2020 were United States of America (US$ 1,147.5 Mn), United Kingdom (US$ 361.6 Mn) India (US$ 277.5 Mn), Germany (US$ 250.3 Mn) and Italy (US$ 183 Mn).  

Being the largest single country export destination, United States of America absorbed US$ 242.36 Mn worth of exports in June 2020 as 66.56% increase in comparison to US$ 145.51 Mn absorbed in May 2020. However, exports to United States of America decreased by 9.37% in June 2020 in comparison to June 2019.

In addition, Exports to United Kingdom as the largest trading partner in the EU Region recorded an increase of 53.64% to US$ 65.39 Mn in June 2020 compared with May 2020. Meanwhile exports to UK decreased by 30.46% in June 2020 in comparison in June 2019.

However, Exports to Itally, France, Russia showed better performance in comparision of June 2019 – June 2020 and May – June 2020.

Exports to India, China, Germany, Belgium & Netherlands increased by 60%, 40%, 42.9%, 80% and 34% respectively in June 2020 compared with May 2020 while exports in June 2020 decreased by 15.3%, 20.29%, 12.72%, 15.6% and 10.8% respectively in comparison in June 2019.

The EDB estimates services exports including ICT/BPM, Construction, Financial services, Transport & Logistics and Wellness Tourism to a level of US $ 1,780.5 Mn during the period of Jan-June 2020 compared to US$ 2,026.58 Mn recorded in the corresponding period of previous year. However, estimated service exports declined by 12.14% during the period of Jan-June 2020 compared with the corresponding period of previous year.

Compared with the overall performance of Merchandise exports, the exports of services have performed well during the period of Jan-June 2020.

Policy & Strategic Planning Division