Sri Lanka exports slump 18.2-pct in Jan, trade deficit narrows

Apr 02, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports fell 18.2 percent to 726.7 million US dollars in January 2013 from a year earlier, with apparel exports falling 8.9 percent to 333.9 million US dollars, Central Bank data showed. Sri Lanka has a trade deficit because domestic economic players get money abroad through means other than merchandise exports, including remittances (exports of labour), foreign borrowing (exports of debt), tourism services and foreign investments.

But last year imports were driven to unsustainable levels as the Central Bank sterilized foreign exchange sales accommodating a spike in credit demand with printed money driving credit and imports to increasingly higher levels.

corrected month of January Tea exports were down a marginal 2.8 percent to 101.0 million US dollars, rubber products fell 19.8 percent to 62.8 million US dollars, food beverages and tobacco was down 40 percent to 12.4 million US dollars.

Imports fell 21.3 percent to 1,507.2 billion rupees, shrinking the trade deficit 24.0 percent to 780.4 million US dollars.

Consumer goods fell 14 percent to 246 million US dollars, intermediate goods fell 25.3 percent to 819.6 million US dollars.

Fuel imports fell 47.6 p