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Sri Lanka exports up 0.7-pct in February, remittances up 5.4-pct

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports grew 0.7 percent to 988 million US dollars in February 2020 from a year earlier, while imports grew 9.1 percent to 1,562 million US dollars, central bank data showed.

The deficit in the merchandise trade account was 574 million US dollars, driven mainly by remittances of 527 million dollars which grew 5.4 percent.

Sri Lanka has a deficit in the trade account as domestic players earn foreign income from services such as remittances and the government also deficit spends with net foreign borrowings.

Tourism revenues another service sold to foreigners had fallen 17.7 percent to 391 million US dollars.

In the first two months of the year merchandise exports were down 1.3 percent to 1,993 million US dollars, and imports were up 6.8 percent to 3,298 million US dollars. The trade gap was 1,304 million US dollars.

It was driven mainly with foreign income remittances of 1,108 million US dollars.

In February apparel exports grew 0.5 percent to 468.1 million US dollars, rubber products grew 2.6 percent to 71.5 million US dollars and total industrial exports were up 2.7 percent to 769 million US dollars.

Agricultural exports were down 6.1 percent to 195.1 million US dollars with tea exports down 2.5 percent to 107.8 million US dollars.

Coconut exports were down 4.3 percent to 26.1 million US dollars and spice exports were down 34 percent to 18.7 million US dollars.

Seafood exports were down 18.8 percent to 20.6 million US dollars.

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Consumer goods imports were up 25.9 percent to 327.3 million US dollars, with dairy products rising 28 million US dollars from 6.1 million, sugar was up 85 percent to 25.8 million US dollars and seafood was down 21 percent to 11.7 million US dollars.

Intermediate good import grew 9.7 percent to 911.5 million US dollars with fuel imports rising 48.6 million US dollars to 418 million US dollars.

Textile imports were down 14 percent to 182 million US dollars, base metals were down 65 percent to 20.4 million US dollars and chemical products were up 6.8 percent to 64.4 million US dollars.

Investment goods were down 6.5 percent to 739 million US dollars. (Colombo/Mar15/2020)