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Central Bank of Sri Lanka records increase in export earnings in August

Central Bank of Sri Lanka records increase in export earnings in August

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has stated that export earnings have risen 15.5% to US$1,001 million in August 2017 from a year ago. According to statistics, this is the second month it has exceeded a billion dollars, but the trade deficit has widened as import costs, especially driven on fuel imports, have increased.
The Central Bank statement has noted that the increase in exports reflected the positive impact of the restoration of the GSP+ facility which gives duty free access to the European Union.
Sri Lanka’s August trade deficit has widened to $856 million from $783 million a year ago, with imports increasing 12.6% to $1.86 billion.
Earnings from industrial exports have grown by 13.1 per cent (year-on-year) to US$ 740 million in August 2017 due to the increase in exports of textiles and garments.
“Export earnings from textiles and garments increased by 10.1 per cent (year-on-year) to US$ 433 million with improved garment exports to the EU market,” the statement has noted.
“Accordingly, earnings from garments exports to the EU market increased by 12.2 per cent (year-on-year) to $186 million in August 2017, contributing more than 68 per cent to the growth of garment exports.”
Earnings from agricultural exports have increased 22.8 per cent (year-on-year) to $255 million in August 2017.
“Export earnings from tea increased significantly by 20.6 per cent (year-on-year) to $131 million, mainly due to higher prices in the international market despite the reduction in exported volumes,” the Central Bank has said.
“In line with higher tea prices in the international market, the average export price of tea increased by 22.3 per cent to $5.29 per kg in August 2017 from $4.33 per kg in August 2016.”
However, the volume of tea exports has noted a decline by 1.3 per cent to 24.8 million kgs in August 2017 from 25.1 million kgs in the corresponding period a year ago.
Expenditure on imports have increased by 12.6 per cent (year-on-year) to $1,857million, which is the second highest import value so far during the year, owing to the higher spending on intermediate goods, particularly fuel.
Spending on fuel imports has risen 73.0 per cent (year-on-year) to $312million, largely driven by the significant increase in refined petroleum imports by 110.9 per cent to $233 million.

OSL take:

The growth recorded in Sri Lanka’s exports earnings in August 2017 as stated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is a positive sign for increasing opportunities in the country’s export sector. Interested investors and entrepreneurs could explore the business avenues available in agricultural exports and tea. Although there has been a widening in the trade deficit, it is mainly due to oil imports and the price increase in the global oil market.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/19102017/Z_2

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