Sri Lanka’s March export income drop moderated 2.8 percent year-on-year (YoY) to US $ 837 million, resulting the trade gap to narrow 29 percent YoY to US $ 704.5 million, the data released by the Central Bank showed.
Export earnings from agricultural products rose 0.5 percent YoY to US $ 208.7 million, led by tea export income rising 1.9 percent YoY to US $ 129.1 million. However, the export earnings from rubber products during the month fell 9.4 percent YoY to US $ 73.1 million.
Textiles and garments exports fetched US $ 344.5 million, up 5 percent YoY. According to the Central Bank, the increased earnings were resulted by increased YoY exports to the USA.
The import expenditure continued to fall also in the month of March by 16.8 percent YoY to US $ 1.54 billion with all main import categories reporting drops.
The import expenditure on consumer goods fell 25.5 percent YoY to US $ 255.7 million, while expenditure on intermediate goods dropped 16.2 percent YoY to US $ 924 million.
The oil import bill during the month fell 28.4 percent YoY to US $ 381 million and expenditure on textile and textile article importation also fell 32 percent YoY to US $ 130.1 million.
The investment goods imports slowed down 11.1 percent YoY to US $ 360.8 million amid expenditure on transport equipment falling 64.1 percent YoY to US $ 50.8 million.
However, i mport expenditure on machinery and building materials rose 7.4 percent and 33 percent YoY to US $ 175.5 million and US $ 134 million, respectively.
Meanwhile, the trade deficit for the first quarter of 2013 narrowed 23.4 percent YoY to US $ 2.1 billion.
The gross official reserves by the end of March stood at US $ 6.68 billion, which was equivalent to 4.4 months of imports.
“By the end of April, the gross official reserves are estimated to have increased to US $ 6.9 billion, which is equivalent to around 4.5 months of exports,” the Central Bank said.