Sunday, 19 January 2020 08:39

Sri Lanka’s balance of trade contracted

Sri Lanka’s earnings from exports grew marginally by 0.8 per cent (year-on-year) to US dollars 10,939 million during the first eleven months of 2019, Central Bank announced

This was a result of higher earnings from exports of textiles and garments (6.0%), coconut (7.2%), gems, diamonds and jewellery (8.6%), seafood (0.8%) and chemical products (6.5%).

Import expenditure at US dollars 18,153 million during the first eleven months of 2019 decreased by 11.4 per cent (year-on-year) largely due to lower imports of personal vehicles (-51.1%), gold (99.4%), fuel (-7.2%), transport equipment (-15.8%) and machinery and equipment (-1.8%).

As a result, the deficit in the trade account contracted to US dollars 7,214 million during the first eleven months of 2019 from US dollars 9,642 million in the corresponding period of 2018.

The export unit value index declined by 10.5 per cent (year-on-year) in November 2019 due to lower prices registered in all major categories of exports.

The import unit value index in November 2019 declined by 1.7 per cent (year-on-year) due to lower prices recorded in imports of consumer and intermediate goods.

Accordingly, the terms of trade deteriorated by 9.0 per cent (year-on-year) to 104.5 index points in November 2019.

The average price of tea (in the Colombo auction) declined to US dollars 3.17 per kg in November 2019 from US dollars 3.30 per kg in November 2018.

The import prices of sugar rose by 3.8 per cent in November 2019 (year-on-year) while import prices of rice, wheat and crude oil declined.

(LI)

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