Sri Lankaâ€™s seafood exports up 42-pct in 2017
ECONOMYNEXT – Earnings from Sri Lanka’s sea food exports rose 42% to US$ 241 million in 2017 from a year ago, according to central bank data.
Seafood exports rose 23.5% to $21.5 million in December 2017 alone from the previous year.
“Earnings from seafood and minor agricultural products, particularly fruits and betel leaves, also contributed towards the enhanced export earnings” in December 2017, a statement said.
The recovery in seafood exports followed the withdrawal of a ban on fisheries exports in June 2016.
Seafood exports from Sri Lanka, which had been the second biggest exporter of fresh and chilled swordfish and tuna to the EU, had plunged after the ban was imposed in 2014.
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On a cumulative basis, export earnings hit a high of US$11.4 billion in 2017 mainly due to notable increase in tea, textiles and garments, and petroleum products exports, as well as spices and seafood exports.
Increased exports to the European Union followed the restoration of the GSP+ facility in May 2017, the central bank said.
Although the European Commission listef its fish ban in 2016, it took awhile for exports to recover because of a 16.5% import duty on fish products.
The Sri Lanka Canned Fish Producer’s Association had said the full benefit of the removal of the ban would come only when the GSP Plus facility is restored, enabling duty free exports.
(COLOMBO, February 22, 2018)
Kithmina Hewage- Institute of Policy Studies