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Sri Lanka exports fall 14.9-pct on Covid-19 flare up, UK shipments surge

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports fell 14.9 percent from a year earlier to 831.7 million dollars in September 2020, as a Coronavirus outbreak spread disrupting activity, the islands, export promotion office said.

“It is concerning to see a sharp reduction in exports in October due to the C19 eruption in Sri Lanka which has had a direct impact on our manufacturing and export facilities,” Export Development Board Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe said.

“The exporters’ order book is full for the rest of the year and the businesses need to be agile to manage through the C19 disruption.

“European markets have moved into a lockdown phase and the USA has also reported very high C19 numbers, this will have a significant impact on our market access. Our exporters will need to navigate this uncharted territory in order to maintain business continuity.”

But exports still increased to Europe by 6.45 percent in October 2020 and to the United Kingdom by 38.93 percent.

Apparel and textiles fell 18.9 percent to 356.5 million dollars, from 439.7 million last year, and was down 17.5 percent from September.

Exports of rubber and rubber products were up 12.4 percent to 80.3 million dollars, with tires up 8.4 percent and gloves up 36 percent.

But Rubber Plates, Sheets Rods of Vulcanized or Unhardened Rubber, Gaskets, Washers, Seals of Hard Rubber and Hygienic or Pharmaceutical Articles have decreased by 39.93 percent, 10.04 percent 65.71 percent October 2020.

Coconut based products increased in October 2020 compared with October 2019.

Earnings of Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk Powder, Coconut Cream, Liquid Coconut Milk, and Coconut Flour categorized under the Coconut Kernel Products had increased 70.46 percent, 41.67 percent, 72.64 percent, and 208.7 percent.

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Coco Peat, Fiber Pith & Moulded products had increased by 30.64 percent to 13.09 million dollars.

Earnings from Activated Carbon had risen 17.61 percent.

The United States of America had bought 2,089.2 million dollars of goods up to October 2020, United Kingdom US dollar 766.72, India 498.79 millioN, Germany 478.96 million, and Italy 371.58 million accounting for over half of total exports in the first 10 months of 2020.

In October the United States had bought 197.06 million dollars of exports falling 17.88 percent.

Exports to the United Kingdom as the largest trading partner in the EU Region had risen to 38.93 percent 102.52 million dollars in October 2020.

Except for the EU Region (6.45%), exports to other regions;

Exports to South Asia had fallen 30.08 percent, ASEAN 21.44 percent, CIS 27.01 percent, Africa 7 percent, and the Middle East 39.13 percent.

(SBT-Colombo/Nov13/2020)

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