Sri Lanka surpasses USD 1Bn exports in March 2021 after six months

Sri Lanka surpassed US$ 1 billion in exports in March 2021 after a lapse of six months period, the Export Development Board said.

As per the Customs statistics, earnings from merchandise exports recorded double-digit growth of 62.47% in March 2021 on y-o-y comparison – the March figure being US$ 1,066.1 Mn.

Earnings from merchandise exports increased by 11.51% in the first quarter of 2021 to US$ 2,954.53 Mn compared to the first quarter of 2020.

This growth could be attributed to the gradual lifting of Covid 19 restrictions imposed within the country and globally.

Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Suresh De Mel said; “Sri Lanka’s exports show a remarkable rise despite the current pandemic situation across the World”.

Export Performance of Major Sectors

Table 1: Merchandise Export Performance

 Values in US$ Mns                                                                                                      

 Exports of Goods Jan-Mar 2020 Jan-Mar 2021 % Growth Mar 2020 Mar 2021 % Growth
 Apparel 1,250.86 1,328.26 6.19 312.10 465.35 49.10
 Tea 270.07 338.12 25.20 62.52 124.61 99.31
 Rubber-based 203.34 268.54 32.06 55.80 100.69 80.45
 Coconut-based 136.93 194.69 42.18 38.24 80.14 109.57
 Diamond, Gems &  Jewelry 53.38 64.90 21.58 7.02 20.04 185.47
 Electronics & Electronic Components 81.95 102.04 24.51 20.70 37.90 83.09
 Spices and Essential Oils 51.40 114.30 122.37 13.05 38.71 196.63
 Food & Beverages 86.97 92.83 -15.62 29.45 32.18 9.27
 Seafood 57.00 56.36 -1.12 12.76 25.41 99.14
 Ornamental Fish 3.69 3.78 2.44 0.98 1.87 90.82
 Vegetables 6.68 5.97 -10.63 1.76 2.69 52.84
 Fruits 9.22 9.10 -1.30 2.29 3.61 57.64
 Other Export Crops 23.03 14.16 -38.51 6.20 7.56 21.94
 Flowers & Foliage 3.95 3.72 -5.82 1.41 1.57 11.35
 Boat Building 0.91 0.64 -29.67 0.39 0.33 -15.38
 Petroleum Products 105.73 9.95 -90.59 28.20 8.80 -68.79
 Others 304.49 347.17 14.02 63.33 114.64 81.02
 Total Merchandize Exports 2,649.60 2,954.53 11.51 656.20 1,066.10 62.47

Sources:  Sri Lanka Customs / Sri Lanka Export Development Board

Sri Lanka’s Trade Performance in Major Markets

Top 10 Export Destinations

  Country Jan-Mar 2020 Jan-Mar 2021 % Growth Mar 2020 Mar 2021 % Growth
1 United States 708.76 715.40 0.94 180.86 243.61 34.70
2 United Kingdom 238.76 225.90 -5.39 58.93 84.53 43.44
3 India 173.32 193.44 11.61 36.72 77.21 110.27
4 Germany 142.25 180.17 26.66 39.47 67.47 70.94
5 Italy 112.56 152.05 35.08 26.88 54.61 103.16
6 Belgium 72.85 83.22 14.23 19.59 30.51 55.74
7 Netherlands 62.87 106.78 69.84 16.54 41.73 152.30
8 China 47.68 77.24 62.00 11.83 29.53 149.62
9 Canada 54.81 72.14 31.62 16.54 24.29 46.86
10 Turkey 43.56 54.95 26.15 10.80 16.93 56.76
  Other Markets 992.18 1,093.24 10.19 238.04 395.68 66.22
  Total Merchandise Exports 2,649.60 2,954.53 11.51 656.20 1066.10 62.47

Sources: Sri Lanka Customs & Sri Lanka Export Development Board

Export Regions

Region Jan-Mar 2020 Jan-Mar 2021 % Growth Mar 2020 Mar 2021 % Growth
EU excluding UK 559.33 733.51 31.14 147.88 268.94 81.86
United States 708.76 715.40 0.94 180.86 243.61 34.70
South Asia 261.88 282.69 7.95 55.94 114.88 105.36
ASEAN Countries 88.33 63.39 -28.24 19.78 25.94 31.14
CIS Countries 60.05 66.53 10.79 12.89 22.14 71.76
African Countries 56.79 74.37 30.96 13.57 31.46 131.83
Middle East Countries (Excl. Cyprus & Egypt) 185.12 194.77 5.21 51.55 77.95 51.21
Others 729.34 823.87 12.96 173.73 281.18 61.85
Total Merchandise Exports 2,649.60 2,954.53 11.51 656.20 1,066.10 62.47

Sources: Sri Lanka Customs & Sri Lanka Export Development Board

Export of Services

The services exports estimated by EDB which includes ICT/BPM, Construction, Financial Services, and Transport & Logistics show exports of US $ 1,194.3 Mn for the first quarter of 2021 compared to US$ 993 Mn recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. Estimated service exports increased by 20.27% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2020.