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SL export haul surpasses US$13 billion in 2022 missing $ 16 billion target

Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports in 2022 posted US $ 13.07 billion, up by 5% from 2021 sustaining its resilience, but fell short $ 1.03 billion from the set target of $16 billion.

Export Development Board forecasted a total exports target $ 16.1 billion for 2022, consisting $ 14.94 billion from merchandise exports and $ 2 billion from service exports. The highest performance of total exports was $ 15.91 billion in 2018.

As per provisional data released by EDB yesterday, merchandise exports have sustained the growth momentum in the 12-month haul up by 4.6% from 2021, though the estimated value of services exports of last year decreased by 6% to $ 1.87 billion.

The services exports estimated by EDB consist of ICT/BPM, construction, financial services and transport and logistics.

Expect apparel and textiles, electrical and electronic components and diamonds, gems and jewellery, and all the other key export sectors like tea, rubber, coconut, seafood, and spices underperformed in 2022.

“EDB Chairman Suresh de Mel said that the forecast of $ 16.1 billion in 2022 was challenging, amidst the recovery of global demand post-COVID, which required not only strong efforts from local enterprises amidst long power outages, fuel shortages, political instability, social unrest, and professionals in the service sector leaving for greener pastures.

Although the expected targets for 2022 were not possible to achieve, EDB Chief said as a country everyone should be extremely proud and supportive of the export sector’s immense contribution to the national economy at the worst times.

As per data December export figures also fell by 9.7% to $ 1.04 billion from 2021 mainly due to the decrease in export earnings from apparel and textiles, tea, rubber-based products, coconut-based products, food and beverages, spices and essential oils and fisheries products. However, the month sustained over $ 1 billion in performance.

It added the decline was due to the also the recovery of global demand, ongoing recession in major markets due to the rising cost of production, energy and predictions of a contracting economy going forward.

Apparel and textile export earnings increased by 10% to $ 5.9 billion in 2022 from a year earlier. Although export earnings from apparel increased by 10.74% to $ 5.48 billion year-on-year, earnings from textile exports declined by 3% to $ 450.7 million in 2022 compared to 2021.

Electrical and Electronic Components (EEC) export income increased by 14.68% to $ 483.28 million in the period of January to December 2022 compared to the corresponding period of 2021.

However, export earnings from seafood decreased by 1.81% to $ 269.02 million in the period from January to December 2022 from a year earlier.

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