Apparel exports down 24% January-August
By Mario Andree
Sri Lanka’s second largest foreign exchange earner and the leading export product, apparel exports, declined 24 per cent during the first eight months of this year to US$ 2.69 billion from US$ 3.54 billion recorded a year earlier.
According to statistics released by the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association, in August apparel exports declined 12 per cent to US$ 416.7 million from US$ 472.6 million recorded a year earlier.
Apparel Exports to the European Union have been estimated to have dropped to nearly US$ 175.8 million during August, down 11.7 per cent from US$ 199 million recorded during the same month of last year.
Exports to the United States have declined 16.6 per cent during August this year to US$ 179 billion from US$ 215 billion a year earlier.
On a cumulative basis, exports to the European Union during the first eight months of this year declined 24 per cent to US$ 1.13 billion from US$ 1.5 billion recorded during the same period of 2019.
Exports to the United States during the same period declined 23.5 per cent to US$ 1.2 billion from US$ 1.56 billion recorded in 2019.
Sri Lanka’s apparel sector was one of the hardest hit industries following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recent COVID-19 cases reported from a leading apparel manufacturing firm and also patients being identified in several other garment factories is expected to complicate issues further.
It has been reported that many manufacturing facilities are working with reduced staff minimising its output.
Further, with the emergence of the pandemic once again some staffers are reluctant to report to work and are leaving for their homes.