Sri Lanka’s exports flat in May while imports up: Central Bank


July 22, 2015 (LBO) –Sri Lanka’s exports earnings recorded a marginal decline of 0.1 per cent, year-on-year, to 883 million US dollars in May 2015, led by lower performance in tea, sea food, gem, diamond and jewellery exports, and the Central bank said.

Earnings from industrial exports increased by 3.3 per cent to 661.3 million US dollars while agricultural exports declined by 9.5 percent to 217 million US dollars.

Tea exports, which were severely affected by the lower demand from Russia and the Middle East, declined for the eight consecutive month in May 2015, recording a drop of 12.1 per cent to 123.6 million US dollars compared to the corresponding month of 2014.

Sea Food exports which dropped continuously from October 2014, recorded a further decline of 39.3 per cent to 14.9 million US dollars in May 2015, compared to the corresponding month in 2014, amid the ban by EU.

Export earnings from gems, diamonds and jewellery, declined by 29.8 per cent year-on-year to US dollars 25 million.

Export earnings from textiles and garments, which account for about 45 per cent of total exports increased by 7.6 per cent to 392.9 million US dollars in May 2015, reflecting an increase in exports to the USA and non-traditional markets such as Canada, China, UAE and Australia, the regulator said.

Transport equipment earnings also down by 5.8 per cent to 6.4 million US dollars, while export of rubber products declined by 2.3 per cent to 76.2 million US dollars.

Imports Numbers

Sri Lanka’s imports rose 17.2 percent to 1.585 million US dollars in May 2015 from a year earlier led by vehicle imports, official data showed.

Imports of motor vehicles for personal use, increased by 87.1 per cent, year- on-year, to 93 million US dollars, while transport equipment increased by 117.2 per cent, year-on-year, to 72 million US dollars mainly due to the increase in importation of auto trishaws.

Imports of consumer goods increased by 25.6 percent to 348.8 million US dollars.

Non-food consumer goods also rose 54.7 percent with vehicle imports shows an increase of 87.1 percent to 93 million US dollars.

Other non-food consumables rose 49 percent to 154 million US dollars.

Sri Lanka’s intermediate goods imports were declined by 11.9 percent to 889.2 million US dollars.

Sri Lanka’s spending on fuel declined by 7.8 percent in the month of May 2015, to 264.3 million US dollars data showed.

Import expenditure on fertilizer declined by 20.9 per cent to 25.1 million US dollars while Wheat and Maize were up by 25.1 percent to 34.6 million US dollars.

Sri Lanka’s spend on investment goods increased by 23.6 percent to 345.8 million US dollars, contributed by 117.2 percent of increase of transport equipment to 71.6 million US dollars while Building material imports were down 3.5 percent to 100 million US dollars and machinery and equipment were up by 21.8 percent to 174.1 million US dollars.

The trade deficit expanded 49 percent to 702 million US dollars in May 2015 from a year earlier.

In the 5 months to May, exports were barely up 0.2 percent to 4,471 million US dollars and imports rose 4.3 percent to 7,868 million US dollars.

The trade gap widened 10.2 percent to 3,396.