Exports up 16.1%, Import up 23%

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Sri Lanka’s trade deficit expanded more than 33 per cent to US$ 1,640 million during the first two months of this year from US$ 1,227 million a year ago, as imports to the country during the two months expanded 23 per cent as against an export growth of 16.1 per cent.

According to data released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka during February this year the trade deficit expanded more than 36 per cent to US$ 781 million from US$ 572 million a year ago.

Though Sri Lanka is facing a major United State dollar crisis the country has imported goods worth US$ 3,832 million during the first two months, up 23 per cent compared to US$ 3,115 million a year ago.

In February, Sri Lanka imported goods worth US$ 1,873 million, up 22.9 per cent compared to US$ 1,524 million.

Export earnings during the first two months this year reached US$ 2,192 million, up 16.1 per cent compared to US$ 1,888 million a year ago.

In February, Sri Lanka exported goods worth US$ 1,092 million, up 14.7 per cent compared to US$ 952 million.

The momentum of export earnings continued with over US$ one billion for the ninth consecutive month in February 2022.

Sri Lanka has observed an increase in industrial exports and mineral exports, while a decrease was observed in agricultural exports.

Earnings from the export of industrial goods increased in February 2022 by 19.4 per cent, compared to February 2021.

Total earnings from the exports of agricultural goods in February 2022 declined 2.1 per cent, compared to February 2021, due to the decrease in export earnings from tea, spices and unmanufactured tobacco.

Earnings from mineral exports increased 12.7 per cent in February 2022, compared to February 2021, due to higher earnings from quartz, titanium ores and granite.

An increase in expenditure was observed across all main categories, with intermediate goods imports contributing mainly to the expansion.

Expenditure on the importation of consumer goods increased in February 2022 9.5 per cent over the month of February 2021, driven by the increase in expenditure on food and beverages although expenditure on non-food consumer goods recorded a decline.

Expenditure on the importation of intermediate goods increased 29.0 per cent in February 2022, driven mainly by fuel, textiles and textile articles, base metals and chemical products.

Expenditure on the importation of investment goods increased 16.4 per cent in February 2022, compared to the same month in 2021, due to a substantial increase in machinery and equipment and building material.

By Mario Andree