Mar 05, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports and imports hit new monthly highs in December 2010 with shipments of apparel, the main industrial export, rising sharply despite the loss of duty free access to Europe. Expenditure on non food consumer import category also increased mainly due to higher imports of motor vehicles. All categories of investment goods imports increased in December 2010. Earnings from exports increased by 34 percent to 968 million US dollars in December 2010 from a year ago and expenditure on imports rose by 30.8 percent to 1,429 million US dollars, the central bank said in a statement.
The December trade gap widened 25 percent to 461 million US dollars compared with the year before.
Cumulative earnings from exports increased by 17.3 percent to 8,307 million US dollars during the year, the highest annual value so far while total spending on imports rose by 32.4 percent to 13,512 million US dollars.
The island’s trade deficit expanded to 5,205 million US dollars in 2010 from 3,122 million US dollars in 2009.
“The largest contribution to the growth in exports in December was from the industrial sector, led by significant increases in exports of textiles and garments, fo