Sri Lanka August export growth driven by commodities as garments falter

Oct 21, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s August 2008 export earnings went up 16.6 percent to 761 million dollars from a year ago, driven largely by the boom in agricultural exports, the central bank said Tuesday. Spending on investment goods were up 21.3 percent to 1,976 million dollars in the eight month period.

The central bank said export growth in August 2008 was fuelled by agricultural exports which grew by 32 percent.

“This was mainly brought about by the high prices garnered by Ceylon tea and natural rubber in the international commodity markets and the remarkable performance of the minor agricultural exports,” it said.

Sri Lanka’s tea fetched 4.26 US dollars per kilogram, up 29 percent since the beginning of the year, while rubber prices increased to 3.02 US dollars per kilogram in August 2008, up 31 percent since January 2008.

Tea export earnings shot up 25.4 percent to 117.7 million dollars in August 2008 from a year but prices have fallen sharply since then as the global commodities bubble burst and all commodities fell.

For the eight months to August tea export earnings were up 41.8 percent to 885.6 million dollars from the same period a year ago.

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