- May export earnings rebound to US$ 602 mn from US$ 277 mn in April
- EDB confident positive trend to continue over next few months
- According to EDB almost all export sectors fared well in May compared to April
- Jan-May 2020 export earnings down 29%; EDB says 32% of revised earnings target for the year achieved
Merchandise exports for the month of May 2020 has bounced back to US$ 602 million, compared to the previous month of April, which was only US$ 277 million, according to Customs provisional statistics.
Referring to May export performance, Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe said, “It is great to see such a strong recovery from April to May, and I thank the export businesses for engaging with the EDB to make May exports a phenomenal success. I also believe this positive trend will continue over the next few months.”
This increase of US$ 325 million is a positive signal that Sri Lanka is in the path of recovery faster than anticipated. However, exports were behind US$ 355 million compared to US$ 957 million recorded in May 2019, which is a decline of 37.08 percent.According to EDB, almost all the export sectors fared well in May in comparison to last month. Earnings from tea exports stood at US$ 108 million while earnings from apparel exports amounted for US$ 219 million. However, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, both tea and apparel exports fell 13.75 percent and 48.23 percent respectively.
Export earnings from rubber & rubber based products in May were US$ 51 million and Sri Lanka earned US$ 52 million from coconut products imports.
Other important sectors such as spices and essential oil (US$ 19 million), food and beverages (US$ 24million) and fisheries products (US$ 12 million) showed a moderate increase in May compared to the previous month.
Exports of rubber gloves (industrial & surgical), liquid coconut milk, made-up textile articles, areca nuts, coconut cream, lentils, rice, cereals, oil seed, showed a positive growth during May 2020 compared to May 2019.
Meanwhile, total export earnings for January-May 2020 period was US$ 3,456 million compared to US$ 4, 845 million recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year—a decline of 28.7 percent.
According to EDB, this is a 32 percent achievement of the revised merchandise export target of US$ 10,750 million in 2020.
The main export sectors namely apparel (US$ 1,535 million), tea (US$ 457 million) and coconut & coconut based products (US$ 216 million) and rubber & rubber based products (US$ 280 million) recorded declines of 32 percent, 20 percent, 16 percent and 25 percent respectively during January-May 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year.
The only sector that recorded a growth during the period was petroleum products.
The export sectors that showed a positive growth at disaggregate level include export of onions, areca nuts, tamarind, garlic, sweat potatoes and lentils.
The top export destinations during the period under review were United States of America (US$ 905 million), United Kingdom (US$ 296 million) India (US$ 221 million), Germany (US$ 196 million) and Italy (US$ 136 million).