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Exports top US $ 1bn for ninth consecutive month in February

30 March 2022 09:24 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Feb. exports up 9.9% to US $ 1.05bn
  • Apparel and textile accounts for half of export earnings
  • Earnings from agriculture exports led by tea decline 

Sri Lanka’s merchandise export earnings crossed the US $ 1 billion mark for the ninth consecutive month in February, despite a shortfall in some of the key agricultural exports, including tea.


In February, merchandise export earnings rose by 9.91 percent year-on-year (YoY) to US $ 1.05 billion, up by 5.8 percent, when compared to February in 2020, according to the data released by Sri Lanka Customs.


“Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports maintained the above US $ 1 billion mark continuously from the beginning of this year, recording an increase of 9.91 percent to US $ 1.05 billion in February 2022, compared to last year. 

This was also the ninth consecutive month of having over US $ 1 billion revenue. We hope the same trend will continue,” Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Suresh de Mel said.
Export earnings from apparel and textile, which nearly accounted for half of the country’s merchandise export earnings in the month, increased by 12.04 percent YoY to US $ 494.82 million. Specially, exports of apparel and woven fabrics increased by 11.87 percent YoY and 31.04 percent YoY in February, despite a 0.26 percent YoY decline in made-up textile articles. However, export earnings from tea, spices and essential oils, fruits and nuts and other export crop categories declined in the month. 


 Tea exports declined by 10.37 percent YoY to US $ 100.86 million while earrings from spices and essential oils and fruits and nuts dropped by 18.59 percent YoY and 20 percent YoY to US $ 27.15 million and US $ 2.12 million, respectively. Despite a notable decline in the spices and essential oil export category, export earnings from pepper recorded a 16.6 percent YoY growth in the month. 


Meanwhile, export earnings from rubber and rubber finished products rose by 11.31 percent YoY to US $ 93.17 million in February, with positive performance in exports of pneumatic and retreated rubber tyres as well as tubes and gaskets, washers, seals, etc. made out of hard rubber. However, industrial and surgical gloves exports declined by 7.55 percent YoY to US $ 27.19 million in the month.


Earnings from coconut and coconut-based product exports also increased by 12.45 percent YoY to US $ 67.92 million in the month. Being the largest contributor to the coconut-based sector, coco peat, fibre pith and moulded products, which are categorised under the coconut fibre products, rose by 13.6 percent YoY to US $ 16.45 million in the month while earnings from activated carbon exports, which is categorised under the coconut shell products, also rose by 13.71 percent YoY to US $ 10.53 million in the month. 


Export earnings from diamond, gems and jewellery also grew by 20.72 percent YoY to US $ 19.46 million, rebounding from a marginal decline in the previous month.


Similarly, export earnings from the electrical and electronics components rose by 16.92 percent YoY to US $ 37.73 million in February, backed by strong performance in exports of insulated wires and cables switches, boards and electrical transformers. Meanwhile, export earnings from seafood grew by a record 50.57 percent YoY to US $ 21.17 million in February, mainly due to the increased earnings from export of frozen fish, fresh fish, and shirmps. Export earnings from ornamental fish also rose by 40.78 percent YoY to US $ 1.45 million in the month. In the period, the United States retained its position as the largest market for Sri Lankan goods, accounting for one-quarter of the country’s merchandise export earnings, followed by the European Union (EU).  Exports to the United States in February rose by 22.66 percent YoY to US $ 292.25 million and exports to the EU (excluding the UK) grew by 4.83 percent YoY to US $ 241.68 million. Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands were among top export markets from Sri Lanka within the EU. 


Meanwhile, merchandise export earnings from the United Kingdom and India rose by 2.32 percent YoY and 27.25 percent YoY to US $ 81.72 million and US $ 77.25 million in the month, respectively. However, exports to China declined marginally by 1.75 percent YoY to US $ 25.28 million in the month. In February, exports to free trade agreement (FTA) partners accounted for 7.2 percent of the total merchandise exports and generated earnings of US $ 84.26 million, up 23.4 percent YoY. In the two-month period of this year, Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports increased by a healthy 11.66 percent YoY to US $ 2.11 billion.


On a region wise comparison, exports to all regions except the CIS countries, which include former USSR led by Russia, increased during the two-month period compared to the same period of last year. Meanwhile, service exports, which consist of IT/BPM, construction, financial services and transport and logistics, increased by 31.66 percent YoY to US $ 290 million, according to the EDB estimates. 

 

 


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