Sri Lanka October exports dip but recovery underway

Dec 22, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports in October fell five percent from a year ago, the lowest decline so far this year, dragged down mainly by lower apparel exports, although tea exports were up, the Central Bank said. But the export recovery which began in April after last year’s slump is continuing, despite a brief dip in September, the bank said in a statement on the island’s external trade performance.

October 2009 export earnings fell 4.9 percent to 629 million US dollars from a year ago but imports fell by a steeper 18 percent to 998 million dollars, as a result of which the trade deficit contracted by 33.6 percent to 370 million dollars.

The Central Bank said October exports earnings were dragged down mainly by industrial exports, which declined by 8.2 percent.

This was mainly due to lower exports of garments and textiles, the island’s main industrial export, which fell 7.3 percent to 263.3 million dollars from a year ago.

Lower shipments of food, beverages and tobacco, machinery and equipments also contributed to the export decline in October 2009 compared with the same month last year.

Exports of rubber products, however, increased by 5.3 percent to 40.6 million dollars during the m