|Wednesday, 26 November 2003|
Positive trends in exports and imports continued in September, narrowing trade deficit
Export earnings in US dollar terms increased by 13 per cent in September, 2003 in contrast to a decline of 2 per cent recorded in September, 2002, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said.
All major industrial subcategories and the agricultural subcategories of tea and coconut contributed to this growth. Industrial exports, which grew by 15 per cent in value, accounted for 89 per cent of the increase. Expenditure on imports also increased by 7 per cent in September, 2003 compared with a 6 per cent growth in September, 2002. As a result of higher growth in exports compared to imports, the trade deficit narrowed to US dollar 64 million in September, 2003 from a much higher deficit of US dollar 82 million in September, 2002.
The cumulative export earnings during the first nine months of 2003 increased by 11 per cent, in contrast to a drop of 8 per cent in the comparable period in 2002. Similarly, imports increased by 9 per cent as against a decrease of 5 per cent in 2002. Consequently, the trade deficit in the first nine months of 2003 decreased marginally to US dollar 940 million, compared with a deficit of US dollar 948 million recorded during the first nine months of 2002.
Export earnings in September, 2003 amounted to US dollars 461 million, compared with US dollars 409 million in September, 2002. The cumulative export earnings during the first nine months of 2003 were US dollars 3,802 million, compared with US dollars 3,418 million recorded during the corresponding period in 2002.
The largest contribution to export growth came from textile and garment exports, followed by rubber products, food and beverages, machinery and equipment and coconut products.
Earnings from textile and garment exports increased by 18 per cent to US dollars 235 million in September, 2003 in comparison to US dollars 200 million in September, 2002. Other industrial exports that supported the export growth were rubber-based products (37% increase), food and beverages (28 per cent increase), machinery, mechanical and electrical equipment (9% increase) and diamonds and jewellery (7% increase). However, decreases were recorded in earnings from travel goods (decline of 58%) and petroleum products (decline of 8%) over September, 2002.
Export earnings from agricultural products in September, 2003 increased by 5 per cent over those of September, 2002 reflecting largely the increases in tea and coconut product exports.
Earnings from tea increased by 4 per cent in September, 2003 entirely due to an increase in tea prices.
Produced by Lake House