|Sri Lanka’s exports up by 23.2 %|
Sri Lanka’s exports up by 23.2% in January to $898 million helped by a rebound in industrial products,Central Bank said.
Earnings from exports increased, reflecting the ongoing recovery in the global economy while expenditure on imports also increased, albeit at a lower rate, driven mainly by the increase in intermediate goods imports. As imports increased by 7.9% to 1.6 billion US dollars Sri Lanka’s trade deficit contracted by 5.9% to 756 million US dollars. “Earnings from industrial exports, which account for more than three fourths of total export earnings increased by 23.6%, year-on-year, to 692 million US dollars in January 2014, reflecting an increase in earnings from all major industrial export categories except petroleum products,” the Central Bank said.
Textiles and garments which is the main contributor to the growth in industrial exports grew by 23.4 % to 412 million US dollars. The European Union and US continued to be the major markets for textiles and garments of Sri Lanka representing around 85 % of the total garment exports. Expenditure on intermediate goods imports increased by 22.3 %, year-on-year, to 1.03 billion US dollars mainly on account of the increase in fuel imports. “Expenditure on fuel increased by 68.1 %, year-on-year, to 490 million US dollars in January 2014 due to higher import of crude oil (by 41.2%), refined petroleum products (by 85. 4%) and coal (by 79.4 %).” Sri Lanka’s ongoing drought has resulted in the increase in imports of refined petroleum products due to greater dependence on thermal power generation as hydro power generation declined.