Exports up 14.4% to US $1B in August
Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports in August 2021 recorded an increase of 14.4 % to US$ 1,083.56 Mn as compared to US$ 947.2 Mn recorded in August 2020 as per the data released by the Sri Lanka Customs. Export earnings from the Apparel Sector have increased by 12.13 % y-o-y to $ 491.5 million in August 2021 with strong performance in exports of Apparel (12.84%) and Woven Fabrics (312.9%). On a year-on-year basis, exports of Made-Up Textile Articles and Yarn and other Textile Articles declined by 64.31% and 20.88% respectively.
Further, export earnings from the Apparel Sector increased by 8.61 % in August 2021 in comparison to July 2021. Export earnings from Tea in August 2021 which made up 12% of merchandise exports increased by 13.41% y-o-y to $ 116.78 million and export volume also increased by 16.1% in August 2021 compared to August 2020. Moreover, export earnings from Tea recorded a 1.43% increase in August 2021 in comparison to July 2021. Export earnings from Rubber and Rubber Finished products have increased by 27.31 % y-o-y to $ 92.34 million in August 2021 with strong performance in exports of Pneumatic and Retreated Rubber Tyres and Tubes (33.02%) and industrial and surgical gloves (36.89%).
However, exports of gaskets, washers, seals, etc. of Hard Rubber have declined by 44.48 % y-o-y to $ 4.93 million in August 2021. Earnings from all the major categories of Coconut-based products increased in August 2021 compared with August 2020. Earnings from Desiccated Coconut, Liquid Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream categorised under the Coconut Kernel Products increased by 42.82%, 13.8% and 72.94% respectively. Being the largest contributor to the Coconut based sector, Coco Peat, Fibre Pith and Moulded products which are categorised under the Coconut Fibre products increased by 28.55% to US$ 17.38Mn in August 2021 in comparison to August 2020.
Earnings from Activated Carbon, which categorised under the Coconut Shell products decreased by 1.72% in August 2021 compared to August 2020. Export earnings from Seafood increased by 19.65% to US$ 165.48 Mn in August 2021 compared to August 2020. This increase was mainly due to the increase in earnings from export of Fish Fresh or Chilled (29.44%), Shrimps and Prawns (125%), Lobsters (50%) and Crabs (27.27%).
Meanwhile, export earnings from Electrical and Electronic Products (11.48%) and Food and Beverages (30.39%) recorded increases during the month of August 2021 compared with August 2020. For the period of January to August 2021, merchandise exports increased by 22.36 % to US$ 7,886.1 million compared to the corresponding period of 2020, following increased exports of almost all the major product sectors; Apparel and Textiles, Tea, Rubber-based products, Coconut based products, Electronics and Electronic Components, Spices and Concentrates, Seafood and Ornamental fish.
Strong Export Growth recorded for top 10 export markets in the period of January to August 2021. During the first eight months of 2021, exports to the United States of America, Sri Lanka’s single largest export destination, increased by 15.3 % to US$ 1,905.02 Mn compared to the same period of 2020. The better performance led by increase in exports of Apparel Sector, Rubberbased Products (Pneumatic and Retreated Rubber Tyres and Tubes, Industrial and Surgical Gloves of Rubber), Motor Vehicles Parts, Activated Carbon, Tea Packets and Cinnamon. Exports to the United Kingdom as the second largest trading partner recorded an increase of 9.43% to US$ 604.54 Mn during the period of January to August 2021 compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.