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Sri Lanka export earnings decline below US$ 1bn after 5 months

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): Exports in September had declined below the $ 1 billion mark to lowest in five months, provisional data released by the EDB revealed yesterday reinforcing private sector concerns on mounting challenges.

Sri Lanka’s exports in September had dipped below the US $ 1 billion mark to lowest in five months, provisional data released by the EDB revealed yesterday reinforcing private sector concerns on mounting challenges

The country’s export performance continues to remain overshadowed by declining apparel exports, with merchandise export income in September plummeting by 12 percent year-on-year (YoY) to US$ 951.5 million.

Earnings from apparel & textile products, Sri Lanka’s major industrial export, fell 24.6 percent YoY to US$ 361.8 million. For the January-September 2023 period, such exports fell 19.4 percent YoY to US$ 3.6 billion.

The global economic slowdown and higher inflation in Sri Lanka’s major apparel markets such as the US, the EU and the United Kingdom, has resulted in lower demand for apparel products.

Local exporters anticipate this trend to continue until the end of this year, resulting in a loss of US$ 1 billion in exports. Apparel exports generated US$ 5.95 billion for Sri Lanka in 2022.

Meanwhile, diamond, gems and jewellery exports fell 32.7 percent YoY to US$ 39.6 million in September 2023, while earnings from rubber-based products remained flat at US$ 82.9 million.

Tea exports in September 2023 edged up 1.8 percent YoY to US$ 119.9 million, while earnings from coconut-based products fell 2.4 percent YoY to US$ 64.3 million.

Sri Lanka earned US$ 38 million from spices and concentrates exports in September 2023, down 6.9 percent YoY.

Seafood exports rose 50.9 percent YoY to US$ 28.2 million while ornamental fish exports increased 47.1 percent YoY to US$ 2.5 million.

Export of electronics and electronic components generated an export revenue of US$ 38.8 million in September 2023, down 9.5 percent YoY.

For the January–September 2023 period, Sri Lanka’s total merchandise export revenue stood at US$ 8.96 billion, down 10.3 percent YoY.

Sri Lanka’s primary export markets include the US, the UK, India, and the European Union.

Sri Lanka also has two free trade agreements (FTA) with India and Pakistan. Under these two FTAs, Sri Lanka exported US$ 87.2 million worth of goods in September 2023, up US$ 12.7 percent YoY.

Meanwhile, according to the Export Development Board (EDB), the estimated value of services exports for the January-September 2023 period was US$ 2.3 billion, up 55.6 percent YoY.

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

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