Imports down 11% to US $ 465mn; exports down 9.3% to US $ 835mn
Sri Lanka’s November trade deficit fell sharply by 13.2 percent year-on-year (YoY) to US $ 630 million amid significantly lower expenditure on imports, the Central Bank data released yesterday showed. But on a cumulative basis, the trade gap widened by one YoY percent to US $ 7,556 million in the first 11 months of 2015. The import expenditure in November fell 11 percent YoY to US $ 1,464.9 million amid lower global oil prices and lower expenditure on textile and textile article imports. The country’s November oil bill fell 27.9 percent YoY to US $ 193.7 million.
The expenditure on textile and textile articles fell 22.3 percent YoY to US $ 167.7 million. However, expenditure on consumer goods imports, led by motor vehicle imports, rose 7.1 percent YoY to US $ 391 million. Expenditure on motor vehicle imports rose 25 percent YoY to US $ 117.6 million. Expenditure on investment goods imports, which consists of machinery and equipment, building materials and transport equipment, increased 3.1 percent YoY to US $ 382.6 million. On a cumulative basis, imports in the first 11 months fell marginally by 2.1 percent YoY to US $ 17, 244.4 million. Meanwhile, exports in November fell 9.3 percent YoY to US $ 835.2 million. Income from apparel exports fell 2.7 percent YoY to US $ 387.7 million.
Earnings from rubber products, which mainly consist of tyres, fell 19.5 percent YoY to US $ 56 million. Agricultural exports fell 14.5 percent YoY to US $ 199.4 million and earnings from tea exports fell 21.1 percent YoY to US $ 108.5 million. Seafood exports also continued to fall with the European Union ban on Lankan seafood exports. On a cumulative basis, exports in the first 11 months fell 4.4 percent YoY to US $ 9, 678.6 million.
Workers’ remittances down 7.2%
Workers’ remittances in November declined 7.2 percent YoY to US $ 574.5 million, the data showed. “The comparatively low growth in workers’ remittances during this period could be attributed to the drop in income in oil exporting Middle Eastern countries with decline in world oil prices,” the Central Bank said. The cumulative inflow from workers’ remittances increased marginally by 0.8 percent to US $ 6, 361.8 million