COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s exports slipped marginally by 0.9 percent from a year earlier to 1,060 million US dollars, and imports fell 5.5 percent with lower payments for oil, narrowing the trade gap 13.5 percent to 520 million US dollars.
Non-oil imports were picking up with less money being spent on oil and lower interest rates.
Apparel exports fell 6.2 percent to 428 million US dollars, tea exports fell 27 percent to 113.4 million US dollars and sea food exports fell 36.5 percent to 15.7 million US dollars.
The Central Bank said seafood exports fell after the European Union blocked Sri Lankan shipments over inability to curb illegal fishing.
Export of transport equipment of 152.8 million US dollars push up total industrial exports.
Imports of consumer goods rose 45.7 percent to 441.6 million US dollars. Non-food consumer goods also rose 73 percent with vehicle imports rising 122 percent to 132.3 million US dollars. Other non-food consumables rose 49 percent to 154 million US dollars.
Spending on fuel in March fell sharply by 66 percent to 155.5 million US dollars. Spending on fertilizer imports were down by 48 percent to 24.8 million dollars wheat and maize imports were up 33 percent to 2 million US dollars.
Investment goods imports were up 23 percent with transport equipment up 225 percent to 136.3 million US dollars. Building material imports were down 12.6 percent to 88.7 million US dollars and machinery and equipment were down by 3.9 percent to 172.3 million US dollars.