Sri Lanka exports up 12.9-pct in Sept
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s exports rose 12.9 percent to, 1.011 million dollars, with strong demand for apparels from US and European markets, and agricultural commodity prices and ship bunkers also up, the central bank said.
The US economy in particular has been performing strongly in recent months.
Industrial exports were up 11.1 percent to 744.5 million dollars in September, with apparel up 12.9 percent to 431.5 million US dollars.
"The USA, the UK, India, Italy and Germany were the leading markets for merchandise exports of Sri Lanka in September 2017, accounting for about 51 per cent of total exports," the central bank said.
Rubber products were also up 13.3 percent to 76.5 million US dollars. Transport equipment exports were down to 6.6 million US dollars from 31.1 million dollars a year earlier, recorded due to an export of a ship to Singapore.
Agricultural exports rose 17.3 percent to 262.7 million dollars partly helped by higher prices.
"This was due to the improved performance in tea, owing to higher prices in the international market and a marginal growth in export volumes," the central bank said.
"Earnings from spices also increased considerably due to higher export volumes of pepper, cloves and cinnamon."
Sri Lanka’s seafood exports surged 68 percent to 20 million US dollars in September after the EU lifted a ban on imports.
Exports were up 8.2 percent to 8,424.1 million US dollars, in the first nine months of the year.
Imports grew 9.7 percent to 15,263.7 billion rupees, helped by greater financial account inflows and positive bank credit, despite the collection of foreign reserves. Fuel and rice imports rose amid a drought and most consumer goods imports fell.
The trade gap up to September expanded 8.2 percent to 6.84 billion rupees.
Import growth can slow or become negative if there is a credit collapse and a stronger growth in foreign reserves.
Since the second quarter of 2017, the central bank has stopped printing money and is sterilizing dollar purchases (contracting commercial bank loanable reserves), indicating that there is no artificial boost of bank credit through base money expansion. (Colombo/Nov28/2017)