ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s exports have grown 5.6 percent from a year earlier to 1.001.27 million dollars in September 2020, with exports to Europe growing 20 percent, and CIS countries 19.5 percent and Africa 56 percent, the Export Development Board said.
“It is the third time (month) this year we have seen a year on year increase of merchandise exports,” EDB Chairman Prabash Subasinghe said.
“However, we are concerned about the recent escalation of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka but hopeful of a swift recovery and a stable level of business continuity.
“Our businesses must continue to be resilient whilst facing the unknown and must have strong COVID-19 preventive measures in order to bring in the much-needed foreign currency for Sri Lanka.”
Sri Lanka runs into frequent forex shortages due to having soft-pegged monetary regime with pro-cyclical liquidity injections, whenever credit picks up putting pressure on rates.
Analysts have called for central bank reform to have monetary stability and free trade. Sri Lanka is now under tight import controls after money printing in March and April though private credit has since weakened.
Total merchandize export earnings for January to September had fallen 16.5 percent to 7,401.48 million dollars due to fall in shipments duing Coronavirus lockdowns.
Exports to the US, the largest buyer of Sri Lankan goods has fallen 5.5 percent to 239.9 million US dollars.
Exports to the UK had grown 38.7 percent to 114.7 million US dollars.
Apparel and textile exports had fallen 3.75 percent to 421.8 million dollars in September.
Tea exports had fallen 3.3 percent.
Rubber and rubber product exports had grown 10.5 percent to 80 million dollars with pneumatic tyres growing 5 percent, gloves growing 22 percent.
Earnings from Coconut Oil rose 122 percent, Coconut Milk Powder 3.6 percent,, Coconut Cream 87 percent and Liquid Coconut Milk 130 percent.
Being the largest contributor to Coconut based sector, Coco Peat, Fiber Pith & Moulded products which categorized under the Coconut fibre products increased by 28.23 % to 13.4 million dollars.
Earnings from Activated Carbon, which categorised under the Coconut shell products increased by 19.22 percent. (Colombo/Oct13/2020)