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April trade deficit narrows 17.7%; exports increase 9.4%

23 June 2014 10:35 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka’s April trade deficit contracted 17.7 percent year-on-year (YoY) to US $ 682.2 million amid higher export earnings and moderate import expenditure, the latest Central Bank data showed.

The trade gap for the first four months of 2014 also narrowed 12.1 percent YoY to US $ 2621.3 million with cumulative exports rising 16.9 percent YoY to US $ 3571.1 million but imports also growing 2.6 percent to US $ 6192.4 million.

April export earnings increased 9.4 percent YoY to US $ 762.2 million, supported by positive earnings from all key categories except rubber products which declined 0.6 percent YoY to US $ 57.9 million.

Export earnings from agricultural products rose 13.7 percent YoY to US $ 199.7 million.

Tea export earnings rose 9.8 percent YoY to US $ 116.8 million. Export earnings from industrial products rose 8 percent YoY to US $ 559.5 million.

“Exports of machinery and mechanical appliances, comprising of electrical and electronic equipment such as transformers, static converters, accumulators and home appliances, increased by 20.7 per cent while exports of leather products increased by 86.6 per cent owing to a more than two fold increase in footwear exports.,” the Central Bank said. Earnings from apparel exports rose 22.5 percent YoY to US $ 336.8 million. Earnings from rubber exports declined by 17.5 percent in April 2014, due to significant declines in both export volumes and prices. Meanwhile, the total expenditure in April on imports decreased 5.3 percent YoY to US $ 1444.5 million. Expenditure on consumer goods imports declined 3.2 percent YoY to Rs.263.9 million.

The expenditure on non-food consumer goods rose 6.3 percent YoY to US $ 155.1 million mainly due to the significant increase in clothing and accessories imports by 72.7 percent to US $ 22 million.

Further, expenditure on personal motor vehicle imports increased by 15.8 percent in April 2014 to US $ 48 million. Import expenditure on intermediate goods rose 0.2 percent YoY to US $ 889.3million, led by higher textiles and textile article imports. The oil import bill fell 8.8 percent YoY to US $ 316.3 million due to the decline in import of crude oil.

Expenditure on textiles and textile articles increased 16.6 percent YoY to US $ 179.8 million.

Import expenditure on investment goods fell 20.4 percent to US $ 289.2 million as a result of less expenditure on importation of transport equipment and building materials. Expenditure on transport equipment fell 42.1 percent YoY to US $ 34.9 million, while on building materials 13.6 percent YoY to US $ 100.5 million. Import expenditure on machinery and equipment also fell 17.7 percent YoY to US $ 153.5 million. Meanwhile, earnings from tourism in April 2014 increased 49.8 percent YoY to US $ 162.7 million. Workers’ remittances rose to US $ 554 million from US $515.3 million in April 2013 while for the first four months workers’ remittances rose 11 percent YoY to US $ 2217.4 million.
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