Sri Lanka’s exports weak in September, deficit down

Nov 25, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports fell 12.8 percent in September 2009 but imports fell at a steeper 36.1 percent shrinking the trade deficit 62.2 percent to 220.4 million US dollars, the Central Bank said. Remittances and net inflows of capital help expand the trade deficit while central bank’s contractionary sterilization activities which lock up foreign reserves and reduce rupee reserves in banks, contracts the trade deficit.

The Central Bank said it had bought 2.8 billion rupees from forex markets up to November.

Export revenues for September were 568.2 million US dollars. Industrial exports fell 12.4 percent to 409.0 million US dollars. Exports from garments to the US had fallen 19.5 percent in September but had increased 8.6 percent to the European Union.

Food and beverages had fallen 27.6 percent due to a fall in fish exports. Though helped by good prices, tea exports were down slightly by 1.0 percent in September due to volume falls from disruption caused by rain and labour unrest.

Rubber exports had fallen 43.1 percent in September with weak prices.

Imports in September had fallen 36.1 percent to 788.5 million dollars with oil prices down over last year. The oil bill fell