Export earnings from textile and garments declined by 4.3% during the first three quarters of this year, largely due to the declining demand from the European Union despite a growth in exports to the United States, according to a report compiled by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
Exports ear nings from exports to the United States grew by 6% year-on-year (YoY), amounting to US$ 537 million during the period in question.
The US market constitutes 40% of Sri Lanka’s total apparel exports, whilst the European Union accounts for 50% of apparel exports.
Sri Lanka was one of the few countries to record export growth to US markets during the period in question, with many of the top 15 suppliers to the US recording declines in export earnings, particularly India and Pakistan, which recorded declines of 18% and 22%, respectively.
China is the top supplier of apparel to the US, with export earnings between the two countries being tallied at US$ 10.9 billion, followed by Vietnam at US$ 3.1 billion, an increase of 8% YoY. Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Jordan and El Salvador were the only countries out of the US top 15 suppliers to post increases in export earnings during the period in question.
Apparel exports from Sri Lanka to the US fall under two main categories- Harmonized System of Classification (HS), namely HS Chapter 61, which includes articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted and HS Chapter 62, which consists of articles of apparel and clothing accessories which are not knitted or crocheted.
Whilst the US recorded a decline of 3% for total imports under HS Chapter 61 and 2% under HS Chapter 62, imports from Sri Lanka under both chapters grew by 6% and 2%, respectively.