Sri Lanka exports up 5.8-pct in Feb; imports rise at a faster 7.7-pct

May 08, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports rose 5.8 percent to 891.4 million US dollars in February 2015 from a year earlier driven by apparel exports, official data showed.

Apparel exports rose 6.0 percent to 419.9 million US dollars and other industrial exports rose 15.8 percent to 117.6 million US dollars.

Petroleum product exports rose 19.5 percent to 35.2 million US dollars reflecting an increase in export quantity of bunker and aviation fuel by 145.0 percent, despite the reduction in prices by 51.1 percent.

Agricultural exports rose 0.8 percent to 202.9 million US dollars with spice exports up 84.8 percent to 30.9 million US dollars.

Tea exports fell 6.2 percent to 108.4 million US dollars due to the subdued demand from Russia, the main single export market for Sri Lankan tea, Central Bank said.

Imports rose 7.7 percent to 1,529.5 million US dollars, reflecting a significant increase in consumer goods imports followed by investment goods.

Consumer goods rose 57.1 percent to 749.8 million US dollars and investment goods rose 22.1 percent to 804.2 million US dollars.

Intermediate goods fell 14.5 percent to 1,656.0 million US dollars with a 44.0 percent fall on fuel imports to 553.6 million US dollars.

The decline in fuel imports was supported by the drop in import prices of both crude oil and refined petroleum products with the lower volume of refined petroleum imports, Central Bank said.

The trade deficit has further widened by 10.4 percent to 638.1 million US dollars in February 2015 from a year earlier.

In the first two months of the year exports were up 3.1 percent to 1,801.1 million US dollars while imports rose at a faster 4.4 percent to 3,211.2 million US dollars, the data showed.

Inflows to the government fell 24.9 percent to 160.6 million US dollars in February 2015 from a year earlier.

In the first two months of the year inflows to the government fell 77.8 percent to 353.0 million US dollars.

Inflows to the financial account have been moderated with the deceleration in investment activities after reviewing major infrastructure projects of the public sector, Central Bank said.

Net inflows to the Colombo Stock Exchange have increased by 126.9 percent to 10.5 million US dollars turning the outflow of 38.9 million US dollars last year.

Foreign investments in secondary market of the Colombo Stock Exchange have recorded a net inflow of 24.1 million US dollars by 06th May 2015, Central Bank further said.