Earnings from merchandise exports increased by 0.4 per cent (year-on-year) to US dollars 979 million in October 2018.
The marginal growth of exports in October reflects mainly the decline in agricultural exports by 11.5 per cent which offset the 4.5 per cent growth of industrial exports.
Under industrial exports, export earnings from textiles and garments increased marginally in October 2018 due to higher earnings from textile exports despite the slight decline registered in garment exports.
The reduced earnings from garment exports was mainly driven by the lower demand from the USA, despite an increase in exports to the EU market and non-traditional markets such as India, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong. Further, reflecting the combined impact of both volume and export prices, earnings from petroleum products increased significantly in October 2018.
Export earnings from food, beverages and tobacco and base metals and articles increased substantially during October 2018 due to improved performance in most of their sub categories.Meanwhile, earnings from agricultural exports were lower during the month owing to the poor performance in almost all sub categories except seafood, vegetables and rubber.
Reflecting lower average export prices and exported volumes, export earnings from tea declined in October 2018. Export earnings from spices also reduced during the month due to the poor performance in most categories of spices.
Further, despite an increase in earnings from coconut non-kernel products, earnings from coconut exports decreased due to the drop in earnings from coconut kernel products such as desiccated coconut and coconut oil.
However, owing to higher exports to the EU market, earnings from seafood exports rose during the month. Leading markets for merchandise exports of Sri Lanka in October 2018 were the USA.
(Government News Portal)