Aug 14, 2020 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports have surpassed the USD 1 billion mark in July after six months time period where a similar achievement was only recorded in January during this year.
Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subhasinghe mentioned, “We have witnessed a phenomenal increase in exports in July 2020 with a new record for the year. Sri Lankas strategic location, its reliable manufacturing and export base and proactive and rapid action by the Sri Lankan Government to control Covid 19 have fulfilled our global customers needs. This is the reason for our remarkable recovery in exports, compared to when the crisis hit us. However, we need to be cautiously optimistic as we move towards year end due to the possible resurgence of Covid 19 in the US and European markets.”
As per the Customs statistics, earnings from merchandise exports recorded double-digit growth rate of 11.31% in July 2020 to US$ 1,090.18 Mn compared to July 2019. Moreover, earnings from merchandise exports in July 2020 increased by 20.3 % compared with the value recorded in June 2020.
This strong performance is consistent with the gradual lifting of restrictions due to Covid 19 pandemic within the country and globally. Increases in exports were recorded as; Europe Region (21.17%), South Asia(11.47%) and Middle East (8.91%) in July 2020 compared to July 2019.
Being the largest single export destination, United States of America has absorbed US$ 256.09 Mn worth of exports in July 2020 recording a 5.67% increase in comparison to US$ 242.36 Mn absorbed in June 2020.
Export Performance of Major Sectors in July 2020
Earnings from exports of Apparel & Textiles and Rubber & rubber-based products grew significantly during the month of July 2020 owing to higher demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, protective suits, surgical gloves, etc.,. PPE related exports have recorded US$ 115.1 Mn in July 2020.
Export earnings from tea in July 2020 which made up 12% of merchandise exports increased by 17.63% y-o-y to US$ 130.93 Mn and the export volume was also increased by 11.24% in July 2020 compared to July 2020. In addition, export earnings from tea recorded 1.39% increase in June 2020 in comparison to June 2019. The expansion was mainly due to higher demand for tea from Turkey and Russia.
Table 1: Merchandise Export Performance
|Product||2019 Jan- July||2020 Jan- July||% Growth||2019 July||2020 July||% Growth|
|Apparel & Textiles||3226.11||2403.70||-25.49||473.52||467.04||-1.37|
|Rubber & Rubber Based Products||535.32||434.25||-18.88||78.21||85.08||8.78|
|Coconut & Coconut based Products||370.35||356.39||-3.77||56.30||74.78||32.82|
|Diamonds, Gems & Jewellery||175.28||85.51||-51.22||17.49||14.35||-17.95|
|Electrical & Electronic Products||228.00||176.25||-22.70||32.63||32.15||-1.47|
|Spices, Essential Oils & Oleoresins||170.69||155.71||-8.78||26.60||41.22||54.96|
|Food & Beverages||220.96||218.42||-1.15||27.90||62.14||122.72|
|Other Export Crops||17.15||49.69||189.74||2.76||10.54||281.88|
|Cut Flowers & Foliage||11.65||7.72||-33.73||1.56||1.08||-30.77|
Sri Lanka’s Trade Performance in Major Markets
Exports to EU Region recorded an increase of 21.67% to US$ 356.64 Mn in July 2020 compared with July 2019. Meanwhile, exports to United Kingdom as the largest trading partner in the EU Region recorded an increase of 18.66 % to US$ 100.1 Mn in July 2020 compared with July 2019. In addition exports to UK has increased by 53.08% in July 2020 compared to June 2020.
Further, exports to Germany, Itally, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada, China, Japan and Turkey have aslo shown better performance during this period.