- April export earnings plunge 82% YoY to US $ 60mn
- All key export markets, including US, EU, record declines
Sri Lanka’s cumulative apparel exports in the first four months stagnated to US $ 1.25 billion, recording a 28.2 year-on-year (YoY) decline, after the historical contraction in April apparel export earnings as the COVID-19 pandemic paralysed the retail sectors in the key export markets.
In April, Sri Lanka’s apparel exports declined by a record 82.40 percent YoY to US $ 60 million, from US $ 341 million recorded in April last year, following a 40.50 percent YoY decline in March.
Since February, the apparel sector started to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the supply chains, as it spread in China initially and later reached the European Union (EU) and United States (US), the key export markets of Sri Lanka’s apparel.
In addition, due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions in the country, the manufacturing activities were also impacted from mid-March to May.
In the four-month period, apparel exports declined across all export markets at similar levels with apparel exports to the US, EU and other markets falling by 28.2 percent, 28.68 percent and 27.97 percent, respectively.
The US remained Sri Lanka’s largest export market with US $ 552.01 million, followed by the EU with US $ 517.16 million worth of exports.
Apparel exporters expect Sri Lanka’s apparel exports to decline by US $ 1.5 billion this year to reach US $ 3.5 billion in the best-case scenario, compared to US $ 5.3 billion earnings last year.