Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
Exports decline for 17th consecutive month in July
Pick up in gold imports observed, vehicle imports plunge
Recording a contraction for the 17th month in a row, Sri Lanka’s exports fell by 4.4 percent year-on-year (YOY) in July to US $ 891.2 million extending the first seven months’ contraction to 5.6 percent YOY to US $ 6.0 billion, the latest data released by the Central Bank showed.
The imports also dropped by 6.6 percent YOY to US $ 1.4 billion in July and for the seven months the country imported goods worth of US $ 10.8 billion, a contraction of 2.9 percent from the same period in 2015.
As a result, the trade deficit in July contracted by 10 percent YOY to US $ 542 million but the seven-month deficit edged up by 0.7 percent YOY to US $ 4.8 billion. The exports have been on the decline as the global commodity prices slumped impacting the agricultural and industrial exports but the “lower domestic supply mainly contributed to this decline,” the statement from the Central Bank said.
The earnings from tea – Sri Lanka’s main agricultural export commodity – dropped by 14.8 percent YOY in July to US $ 107.8 million “due to lower demand, particularly from Russia and the Middle Eastern countries, although tea exports to Iran increased in comparison to July 2015”. The first sevenmonth export earnings from tea narrowed 10.3 percent YOY to US $ 726 million.
The exports of spices dropped sharply by 31.8 percent YOY to US $ 33.1 million in July, mainly due to the poor performance of pepper as a result of the low domestic supply.