Sri Lanka’ apparel exports in September soared to record high for the month.
Daily FT: Biggest foreign exchange earner apparel exports in September soared to record high for the month.
As per provisional data, apparel exports in September amounted to $ 451.46 million up by only 4.89% from the corresponding month of last year. However, the September 2022 figure is the highest for the month beating the previous best of $ 451 million in 2018.
The 5% year on year growth is also the lowest in six months reaffirming industry views that going forward market conditions for exports will be challenging.
Prior to September, apparel exports have grown year on year by a high of 39% (June) and a low of 19% (August). In March export growth was flat.
September 2020 performance is also the lowest in four months and ended the three-month streak of over half a billion exports between June and August.
Exports to the US in September were down by 4% to $ 186.27 million whilst shipments to the EU were up by 15.7% to $ 141.52 million. Exports to the UK were up 3.5% to $ 56.67 million and other markets up 13% to $ 67 million.
Apparel exports in the first nine months were an all-time high of $ 4.3 billion, up 18.4% year on year. The previous highest for the first nine months was $ 3.97 billion in 2019.
Exports to the US were up 22% to $ 1.82 billion, EU by 15.8% to $ 1.26 billion, UK by 14.8% to $ 572 million and other markets by 17% to 639.8 million.
Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) officials have indicated that despite impressive exports so far in 2022 industry envisages a 25-30% decline in the remainder of the year. This is because the economic downturn is impacting future orders from the US and EU whilst the war in Ukraine has pushed up logistics and energy costs. The US, EU and the UK comprise about 86% of Sri Lanka’s total apparel exports.
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is one of the main revenue generators in the country with apparel exports leading the country’s export portfolio. The many trade agreements and trade concessions enjoyed by the country have also helped the growth of Sri Lanka’s apparel industry. Local authorities are also engaged in developing supplementary facilities to support the apparel industry, especially in the supply of raw materials like the proposed fabric manufacturing park in the Eastern Province. However, despite challenging economic conditions in the country, businesses engaged in Sri Lanka’s apparel industry have recorded growth and impressive profits. This is indicative of the overall resilience of Sri Lanka’s economy as well as the growth and business potential in the country’s apparel industry. Foreign businesses could therefore confidently explore opportunities in Sri Lanka’s apparel industry. They could also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses engaged in the apparel industry with the aim of further expansion of operations locally and internationally.
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