Business Times

Boats, beverages help boost Lankan exports

Export earnings from Sri Lanka increased significantly by 36 %, year-on-year, to $834 million last November, the highest monthly increase since October 2004 due to a substantial increase in some relatively new export categories like boats, bicycles, electrical equipment, rubber products, petroleum products, food, beverages and tobacco, the Central Bank (CB) said last week.

Total earnings from exports in the 11 months of 2010 increased by 15.4 %, year-on-year, to $7,339 million, reflecting one of the highest cumulative growth rates in the recent past. Expenditure on imports increased by 19.1 % to $1,113 million in November mainly due to higher imports of intermediate goods. Cumulative expenditure on imports during the first 11 months of 2010 increased by 32.6 %, year-on year, to $12,083 million.

The CB said the largest contribution to growth in export earnings came from the industrial exports, followed by the agricultural exports. Industrial exports, which accounted 76 % of total export earnings, were led by textile and clothing exports. Earnings from garment exports to Sri Lanka’s major markets, the EU and USA, increased by 39.2 % and 28.7 %, respectively, in November.

Earnings from machinery and equipment exports such as boats and bicycles, and electrical equipment including transformers, static converters, inductors, circuits and insulated cables increased significantly to $67 million in November.

Average export prices of tea and rubber remained high at $4.55 per kg and $4.14 per kg respectively, in November. Expenditure on imports increased led by higher imports of intermediate goods, particularly petroleum. Import price of crude oil averaged $84.85 per barrel in November, up 7.2 % over $79.18 per barrel in the same month of the previous year.

During the 11 months to November 2010, workers’ remittances increased by 23.9 % to $3,761.9 million (after adjusting for revisions by commercial banks) over that of the corresponding period of 2009, the CB said.

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