Surge in tea, apparel exports
COLOMBO: The trade deficit in July narrowed 35.1 per cent from a year
earlier to 225 million dollars in July as clothes and tea exports
surged, according to official data released yesterday.
July imports rose 6.2 per cent to 915.5 million dollars year-on-year
while exports climbed 33.9 per cent to 690.5 million dollars, driven by
higher sales of clothes, tea and vegetable cooking oil, the Central Bank
of Sri Lanka said.
For the January-to-July period, the deficit has shrunk 15.6 per cent
from a year earlier to 1.8 billion dollars, helped by a 3.9 per cent
drop in the import oil bill, the bank said. The fall in the oil bill in
the seven-month period has been helped by price hedging which the
Government introduced in February.
A jump in international oil prices has strained the economy which has
no crude oil reserves of its own.
There is a balance of payments of 151 million dollars for the
seven-month period, mainly thanks to remittances from Sri Lankans
employed abroad, the Central Bank said.
Remittances, principally from Sri Lankans working in the Gulf and
Asian countries, climbed 19 per cent to 1.5 billion dollars in the
period to end July.
The island’s gross official reserves stood at 2.7 billion dollars at
the end of July, enough to finance three months of imports, the Bank