Sri Lanka exports down 3.5-pct in Dec 2020, but recovers from Nov fall

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s exports fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier to 964 million US dollars in December 2020, recovering from 16.3 percent drop in October amid a second wave of Coronavirus, official data show.

Imports fell 14.4 percent to 1,527 million US dollars as tourism receipts fell to an estimated 0.7 million US dollars from 455 million dollars.

The trade deficit fell to 562 million dollars from 784 million dollars in December.

Sri Lanka’s exports recovered strongly up to September 2021, but a second wave of Coronavirus disrupted activity.

Industrial exports fell 5.4 percent to 755.5 million US dollars with textile imports falling 6.5 percent to 451 million dollars.

Rubber products rose 2.6 percent to 74.9 million dollars, machinery and medical appliances rose 33.4 percent to 39.6 million dollar becoming the third largest industrial export.

“The export of garments to the EU increased slightly, while exports to the USA and other destinations declined significantly,” the central bank said.

“Earnings from the export of petroleum products that comprises bunkering and aviation fuel and other petroleum products declined due to the decline in quantities supplied as well as prices.

“On the other hand, the export of surgical and other gloves increased significantly.”

Rubber tyres, gems and jewellery, animal fodder, leather, travel goods and footwear and most items under base metals except copper had declined.

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Exports of food, beverages and tobacco (coconut milk and cream and manufactured tobacco,); machinery and mechanical appliances (mainly electronic equipment and industrial machinery); chemical products (mainly activated carbon); ceramic products (mainly tableware, kitchenware, wall-tiles and ornaments) and some wood and paper products were up.

Agricultural exports grew 4.1 percent to 203 million dollars.

Consumer goods imports fell 16.2 percent to 327 million dollars in December with food and beverages up 6.8 percent to 158.1 million dollars, dairy products up 3.8 percent to 31 million dollars, vehicles down to 0.5 million dollars from 83.9 million dollars.

Telecom devices were up 72.6 percent to 37.3 million dollars.

Intermediate goods were down 9.6 percent to 865 million dollars, fuel was down 29.5 percent to 235 million dollars, with coal up 41 percent to 34.1 million dollars.

Textile articles mainly used for the apparel industry fell 5.4 percent to 234 million dollars, wheat and maize was up 41 percent to 108 million dollars.

Investment goods were down 23 percent to 332 million dollars with machinery and equipment down 11.5 percent to 211.2 million dollars, building material down 10.5 percent to 104 million dollars and transport equipment down 78 percent to 16.6 million dollars. (Colombo/Feb12/2021)

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