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Saturday April 20th, 2024

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.

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.


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Sri Lanka discussing giving extra land, water for Chinese oil refinery

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is in discussions with China’s Sinopec to give extra land and assure water supplies after the company decided to expand the capacity of a planned oil refinery in Hambantota, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said.

“There are concerns on how the water supply is going to be provided for the refinery,” Minister Wijesekera told reporters Friday.

The refinery will need more land and also revise conditions in a Board of Investment agreement, he said.

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Sinopec to double capacity of new refinery in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota

Recommendations and decisions from Sri Lanka’s side had already been sent and Sinopec is expected to revert back in May.

“We are hoping to sign the agreement once everyone has agreed,” Wijesekara said.

The principle agreements are expected to be signed by June, he said.

The refinery could sell up to 10 percent of its output in the domestic market.

“There is no commitment by the government to purchase anything,” Minister Wijesekera said. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes weaker at 302.00/50 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 302.00/50 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Friday, down from 301.50/302.00 a day earlier, dealers said.

There was increased demand for dollars after the central bank bought 715 million dollars from forex markets. In the previous two months it was buying on average about 200 million US dollars, leaving market participants and bank in a ‘oversold’ position.

There were some official dollars sales Friday dealers said.

READ Sri Lanka rupee quoted wide to US dollar as peg inconsistencies flare up

Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 11.30/40 percent down from 11.35/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.95/12.05 percent up from 11.90/12.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed stable at 12.15/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed stable at 12.30/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed stable at 12.40/50 percent. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down, banks trade down

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Friday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed down 0.38 percent, or 44.80 points, at 11,753; while the S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.53 percent, or 18.46 points, at 3,456.

Turnover was at 1.4 billion. The diversified financials (Rs366mn) and banks (Rs266mn) sectors continued to see selling pressure.

“This was possibly due to uncertainty around the bond discussions,” market participants said.

With the exception of Sampath Bank Plc (up at 77.50) all other banks traded down in the day. Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc was down at 104.50, Hatton National Bank Plc was down at 188.50, and DFCC Bank Plc was down at 77.00.

LOLC Finance Plc saw the most trades and closed up at 6.40. Another LOLC company, Browns Investments Plc, also saw high traded volumes and closed up at 5.60.

Softlogic Capital Plc was up at 7.00, and Softlogic Holdings Plc was up at 11.20. A trading suspension imposed on SHL.N0000 was lifted effective today as the company submitted the annual report for the year ended 31st March 2023.

However, shares of the Company will remain in the Watch List “due to Qualified Audit Opinion and Emphasis of matter on going concern in the Independent Auditor’s Report in the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st March 2022.”

Dialog Axiata Plc, which announced its merger with Bharti Airtel Thursday, saw its share price close up at 11.90.

“There was some traction on index heavyweights,” market participants pointed out.

Top contributors to the APSI included Aitken Spence Plc (up at 134.50), Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc (up at 1,245.25, and Lion Brewery (Ceylon) Plc (up at 1,048.50).

There was a net foreign inflow of 5 million. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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