Trade Deficit Contracts 25% Jan-Nov

By Mario Andree | Published: 2:00 AM Jan 16 2021

By Mario Andree

Sri Lanka’s trade deficit contracted 25 per cent to US$ 5.4 billion during the first eleven months of last year, from US$ 7.2 billion a year earlier, as imports to the country during the period declined 20 per cent as against a drop of 16.7 per cent in exports.

The trade deficit in November 2020 declined 25.8 per cent to US$ 565 million from US$ 762 million recorded during the same month last year as imports contracted 20.5 per cent and exports declined 16.3 per cent.

According to data released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, export earnings during the first eleven months of last year reached nearly US$ 9.11 billion, down 16.7 per cent compared to US$ 10.94 billion a year ago, while expenditure on imports reached US$ 14.53 billion, down 20 per cent compared to US$ 18.15 billion.

In November last year, imports contracted 20.5 per cent to US$ 1.38 billion from US$ 1.74 billion a year ago, while exports declined 16.3 per cent to US$ 819 million from US$ 979 million.

According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, expenditure on imports declined for the eight consecutive months in November 2020.

Export earnings of Sri Lanka during the first eleven months of last year were driven by industrial exports, which declined 19.5 per cent to US$ 6.94 billion from US$ 8.63 billion a year earlier.

Agricultural exports declined 5.9 per cent to US$ 2.13 billion from US$ 2.26 billion, while mineral exports declined 33.1 per cent to US$ 20.5 million from US$ 30.6 million and unclassified exports declined 15.9 per cent to US$ 13.1 million from 15.6 million a year ago.

On a monthly basis, industrial export earnings declined 19.6 per cent in November to US$ 633 million from US$ 787.6 million a year earlier, while Agricultural exports declined 2.3 per cent to US$ 183.1 million from US$ 187.3 million and mineral exports declined 4.4 per cent to US$ 2.3 million from US$ 2.4 million and unclassified exports declined 37 per cent to US$ 0.9 million from US$ 1.4 million a year ago.

Meanwhile, expenditure on imports reduced due to reduced spending on consumer goods, which declined 13.8 per cent during the first eleven months of last year to US$ 3.07 billion from US$ 3.56 billion a year ago, import of intermediate goods declined 21.1 per cent to US$ 8.21 billion from US$ 10.4 billion a year ago, import of investment goods declined 22.5 per cent to US$ 3.23 billion from US$ 4.16 billion.

However, unclassified imports increased 88.1 per cent to US$ 12.9 million from US$ 6.8 million.

On a monthly basis, expenditure on consumer goods imports declined 30.1 per cent in November to US$ 255.5 million from US$ 370.4 million, while Intermediate goods declined 17.6 per cent to US$ 818.3 billion from US$ 992.5 million and on investment goods it declined 18.1 per cent to US$ 309.4 million from 377.8 million.

By Mario Andree | Published: 2:00 AM Jan 16 2021

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