By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW):Sri Lanka export growth is likely to remain weak in 2023 as global growth slows, high inflation erodes the country’s competitiveness, and skilled workers emigrate, leaving for greener pastures due to skyrocketing cost of living, finance ministry sources said.
Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports decreased by 16.15 % to US$ 814.1 Million in April 2023 compared to April 2022. Moreover, it is a 0.5 % decrease when compared to April 2021.
Declining trend in merchandise exports continues due to the negative trends shown in major export products. i.e., Apparel & Textiles, Rubber & Rubber based products and Coconut & Coconut based products.
Export earnings from tea which made up 12% of merchandise exports, increased by 16.1 % y-o-y to US$ 93.39 Mn in April 2023 compared to April 2022. Earnings from export of Tea packets increased by 29.1 % to US$ 47.82 Mn.
In addition, export earnings from the Electrical & Electronics Components increased by 16.14 % y-o-y to US$ 40.01 Mn in April 2023 with strong performance in exports of Insulated wire (30.43%) and Other Electrical & Electronic Products (18.74 %).
Export earnings from Seafood increased by 17.1 % to US$ 24.76 Mn in April 2023 compared to April 2022. This increase was mainly due to the strong performance in export of Frozen fish (21.04 %), Fresh fish (47.9 %) and Shrimps (0.34%).
Moreover, export earnings from Ornamental fish increased by 105.83 % to US$ 2.12 Mn in April 2023 compared to April 2022.
Despite the decrease recorded in the Spices & Concentrates sector, earnings from export of Cinnamon increased by 8.41 % in April 2023 in comparison to April 2022.
The value of ICT exports is estimated to increase by 34.95 % to US$ 529 Mn in April 2023 compared to April 2022. In addition, the value of Construction and Financial services exports are estimated to increase by 15.71 % and 3.75 % respectively in April 2023 compared with April 2022.
Export earnings from Apparel & Textile have decreased by 23.1 % y-o-y to US$ 342.81 Million in April 2023 compared to April 2022.
In addition, Export earnings from Rubber and Rubber Finished products have decreased by 22.28 % y-o-y to US$ 55.4 Mn in April 2023, with poor performance in exports of Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (22.09 %) and Industrial & surgical gloves decreased by (24.32 %).
On monthly analysis, export earnings of kernel products ( -31.71 %), fiber products ( -16.18 %) and shell products ( -30.4 %) categorized under the Coconut based products decreased in April 2023 compared to April 2022 due to the poor performance in export of Liquid Coconut Milk (-22.53 %), Coconut Oil (-36.98 %), Desiccated Coconut (-47.17 %), Coco Peat, Fiber Pith & Moulded products (-14.30 % ) and Activated Carbon (- 29.18 % ).
Export earnings from Spices and Essential Oils decreased by 2.04 % to US$ 21.08 Mn in the month of April 2023 compared to the month of April 2022. Export earnings from pepper decreased by 41.65% to US$ 2.41 Mn in April 2023 compared to April 2022.
The value of Transport & Logistics exports is estimated to decrease by 9.17 % to US$ 40.25 Mn in April 2023 compared to April 2022.