Sri Lanka exports up on commodity boom

June 16, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports grew 14.7 percent helped by strong prices for tea, while apparel exports grew by a slow 5.3 percent and the trade deficit expanded 92 percent on higher oil and capital goods imports, official data showed.

The Central Bank said April export earnings increased 14.7 percent to 610 million US dollars with agricultural and industrial exports contributing 59 percent and 37 percent.

According to official data, agriculture exports grew 46.5 percent in April 2008 compared with a year ago on the back of increased export prices of tea.

The average export price of tea was four US dollars a kilogram, the highest recorded up to then, the Central Bank said.

Industrial exports grew by 6.9 percent supported by increased exports of garments, food, beverages, tobacco, rubber products, petroleum products and ceramics, official data showed.

Cumulative exports during January to April 2008 grew 11.3 percent to 2,488 million US dollars, the bank said.

Expenditure on imports in April increased 37 percent to 1,269 million US dollars.

The Central Bank said import expenses on consumer goods such as food expanded significantly in April 2008 owing to increased expenditure on rice and sugar.

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