Sri Lanka posts a trade surplus in June


For the first time since August 2002, Sri Lanka managed to post a trade surplus in June this year with export earnings exceeding expenditure on imports by US$ 21 million.

Sri Lanka’s trade deficit contracted more than 18 per cent to USD 3.5 billion during the first six months of this year from USD 4.3 billion a year ago, as exports from the country during the period expanded 14.3 per cent as against an import growth of 0.1 per cent.

According to data released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka during June this year, the trade deficit contracted more than 103 per cent to record a surplus of USD 21 million from USD 652 million a year ago.

Earnings from merchandise exports in June 2022 increased by 23.9 per cent over the corresponding month in 2021, recording USD 1,248 million, which is the highest ever monthly export earnings recorded.

An increase in earnings of both industrial and agricultural exports contributed to this favourable outcome, while mineral exports, which constitute a meagre share of export earnings, recorded a decline.

Cumulative export earnings from January to June 2022 also increased by 14.3 per cent over the same period in the last year, amounting to USD 6,514 million.

Expenditure on merchandise imports declined substantially by 26.1 per cent to USD 1,226 million in June 2022, compared to USD 1,659 million in June 2021.

A broad based decline in expenditure was observed due to regulatory measures to curb non-urgent imports, dearth in foreign currency liquidity, depreciation of the exchange rate etc., while high fuel expenditure countervailed the decline to a great extent.

Import expenditure on a cumulative basis from January to June 2022 was recorded at USD 10,028 million, which is a marginal increase of 0.1 per cent (year-on-year)

By Mario Andree