- Textile & apparel exports down 23% to US$ 435mn
- Jan-Aug exports income at US$ 7.98bn, down 10.4%
Despite total merchandise export income surpassing US$ 1 billion, the export lag persisted into August, primarily attributable to the lackluster performance of Sri Lanka’s largest industrial export sector, apparels & textiles.
As per the data released by the Export Development Board, Sri Lanka received US$ 1.09 billion export income for August, down 10.91 percent from a year ago.
The apparel & textile exports fell 23.06 percent year-on-year (YoY) to US$ 434.98 million. Demand for apparel products have come down significantly amid economic slowdown in major export markets such as the United States, the UK and the European Union.
According to local apparel exporters, apparel exports could come down by US$ 1 billion this year from the US$ 5.22 billion the country earned from such exports in 2022.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s main agricultural exports, tea, rubber and coconut, recorded declines in August. Tea exports fell 3.83 percent YoY to US$ 119.64 million, rubber-based exports fell 19.7 percent YoY to US$ 80.16 million and coconut-based exports fell 10.3 percent YoY to US$ 63.89 million.
Diamond, gems and jewellery exports also declined 11.52 percent YoY to US$ 37.64 million. Spices and concentrates exports in August rose 19.52 percent YoY to US$ 47.94 million.
Both seafood and ornamental fish exports fell 30.83 percent YoY to US$ 17.66 million and 12.55 percent YoY to US $ 2.02 million, respectively. However, Sri Lanka earned US$ 54.4 million from boat building in August, compared to just US$ 0.36 million YoY, as the month saw the delivery of some vessels by Colombo Dockyard to its clients.
Total merchandise exports for the January- August 2023 period stood at US$ 7.98 billion, down 10.4 percent YoY.
According to EDB, the estimated value of services exports for the period of January to August 2023 was US$ 1.4 billion, up 12.96 percent YoY. The services exports estimated by EDB consist of ICT/BPM, construction, financial services and transport & logistics.