Sri Lanka exports drop 10.2-pct in March, import growth slows

Chandi Dharmaratne

May 30, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports dropped 10.2 percent to 835.7 million US dollars in March, a month that saw the steepest depreciation in years, while imports grew just 3.9 percent to 1,697 million US dollars, pointing to a slowing economy. The central bank said industrial exports dropped 10.9 percent to 624.2 million US dollars with apparel dropping 11.7 percent to 319.4 million US dollars.

Agricultural exports dropped 10.1 percent to 203.2 million US dollars with tea dropping 6.3 percent to 123.4 million US dollars.

Import grew by just 3.9 percent to 1,697 million US dollars with consumer goods dropping 4.7 percent to 334.4 million US dollars.

Intermediate goods dropped 0.5 percent to 966.1 million US dollars but investment goods rose 28.7 percent to 395.3 million US dollars.

The trade deficit grew 22.5 percent to 861.3 million US dollars.

In the first quarter exports fell 1.4 percent to 2,633.7 million US dollars and imports grew 17.0 percent to 5,192.6 million US dollars and the trade gap also increased 44.8 percent to 2,558.9 million US dollars.

The trade gap is an arbitrary man-made definition that refers to only merchandise goods trade in the balance of payments.

Sri Lanka has a large trade defi