Trade deficit widens to US$ 6.2B Exports hit US$ 1B mark for the second month
Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened to US$ 6,186 million during the first eight months of this year from US$ 5,515 million a year ago, with the deficit in August reaching US$ 856 million.
Surpassing the US$ 1 billion mark for the second consecutive month, earnings from exports increased in August 2017, indicating the positive impact of the restoration of the GSP+ facility.
Accordingly, earnings from exports increased by 15.5% (year-on-year) to US$ 1,001 million in August 2017, mainly due to an increase in industrial exports followed by agricultural exports.
Earnings from industrial exports grew by 13.1% (year-on-year) to US$ 740 million in August 2017, owing to the increase in exports of textiles and garments.
Export earnings from textiles and garments increased by 10.1% (year-on-year) to US$ 433 million, with improved garment exports to the EU market. Accordingly, earnings from garments exports to the EU market increased by 12.2% (year-on-year) to US$ 186 million in August 2017, contributing more than 68% to the growth of garment exports. Meanwhile, garment exports to the USA and non-traditional markets also grew by 4.4% and 4.6% (year-on-year), respectively, during the month.
Further, earnings from the export of petroleum products increased significantly by 74.2% (year-on-year) in August 2017, owing to higher export volumes and prices of bunker and aviation fuel. In addition, the export earnings from food, beverages and tobacco increased significantly by 35.8% (year-on-year) to US$ 35 million, due to increased exports of vegetable, fruit and nuts preparations.
Meanwhile, export earnings from gems, diamonds and jewellery (23.6%), machinery and mechanical appliances (14.0%), and rubber products (4.1%) increased during the month compared to the corresponding month of the previous year. However, export earnings from base metals and articles, printing industry products and transport equipment declined in August 2017.
Earnings from agricultural exports increased substantially by 22.8% (year-on-year) to US$ 255 million in August 2017, reflecting improved performance in almost all sub categories.
Export earnings from tea increased significantly by 20.6% (year-on-year) to US$ 131 million, mainly due to higher prices in the international market despite a reduction in export volumes.
In line with higher tea prices in the international market, the average export price of tea increased by 22.3% to US$ 5.29 per kg in August 2017 from US$ 4.33 per kg in August 2016. The volume of tea exports declined by 1.3% to 24.8 million kg in August 2017, from 25.1 million kg in August 2016.
Meanwhile, earnings from spices increased considerably by 40.5% Year-on-Year (YoY) during the month, mainly due to increased export volumes of pepper, cinnamon and cloves.
Reflecting the positive impact of the removal of the ban on exports of fisheries products to the EU market and the restoration of the GSP+ facility, earnings from seafood exports increased considerably by 38.6% YoY to US$ 18 million in August 2017, with a 81.9% year-on-year growth in exports to the EU market.
On a cumulative basis, earnings from exports grew by 7.6% YoY to US$ 7,413 million during the first eight months of 2017 mainly due to increased earnings received from exports of tea, petroleum products, transport equipment, spices and seafood. In contrast, on a cumulative basis, export earnings from textiles and garments, gems, diamonds and jewellery and leather, travel goods and footwear declined during the period under consideration.
The USA, the UK, India, Germany and Italy were the leading markets for merchandise exports of Sri Lanka during the first eight months of 2017, accounting for about 50% of total exports.
Expenditure on imports during August increased by 12.6% YoY to US$ 1,857 million, recording the second-highest import value so far during the year, owing to the higher expenditure incurred on intermediate goods, particularly fuel.
Expenditure on intermediate goods imports increased significantly by 23.9% YoY to US$ 1,021 million in August 2017, mainly due to the increase in expenditure on imports of fuel by 73.0% YoY to US$ 312 million. This was largely driven by the significant increase in refined petroleum imports by 110.9% to US$ 233 million. In addition, reflecting the impact of high crude oil prices in the international market, import expenditure on crude oil increased by 12.2%, despite a reduction in volume. Accordingly, average import price of crude oil was recorded at US$ 53.07 per barrel in August 2017 compared to US$ 46.71 per barrel recorded in August 2016.
Further, expenditure on gold imports increased considerably by 50.0% YoY to US$ 65 million during the month, owing to higher volumes of gold imports while expenditure on base metals increased by 52.6% YoY.
Expenditure on textiles and textile articles increased by 7.9% YoY in August 2017 with higher expenditure incurred on the import of fabrics. Meanwhile, higher imports of chemical products, wheat and maize, and food preparations contributed largely towards the increase in intermediate goods imports during the month.
However, import expenditure on mineral products and fertilizer declined by 54.8% and 30.4%, respectively, in August 2017, compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
Meanwhile, expenditure on consumer goods imports remained broadly unchanged at US$ 394 million in August 2017. However, expenditure on food and beverages grew by 3.7% YoY in August 2017, mainly due to higher expenditure incurred on the importation of rice.
Continuing the year-on-year increasing trend, expenditure on rice imports increased in August 2017 following the measures taken to fulfill the shortage of rice in the domestic market. Meanwhile, import expenditure on vegetables, dairy products and fruits increased during the month. In addition, import expenditure on household and furniture items and telecommunication devices categorized under non-food consumer goods also increased in August 2017.
However, import expenditure on rubber products, beverages and spices recorded a decline in August 2017.
Import expenditure on investment goods increased by 2.1% YoY to US$ 439 million in August 2017, reflecting higher imports of machinery and equipment, and building materials.
Expenditure on machinery and equipment grew by 2.5% during the month, with a surge in imports of printing machinery, telecommunication devices and air conditioning machines.
Import expenditure on building materials increased by 6.8% YoY during this period owing to higher imports of iron and steel, articles of iron and steel, and ceramic products.
However, import expenditure on transport equipment decreased by 10.0% (year-on-year) in August 2017, mainly due to lower imports of road vehicles such as auto trishaws and cabs for commercial purposes.
Reflecting these developments, on a cumulative basis, import expenditure increased by 9.6% YoY to US$ 13,599 million during the first eight months of 2017, largely due to higher imports of fuel, gold and rice. However, import expenditure on machinery and equipment, personal vehicles and fertilizer declined during this period.
With regard to the origin of imports, India, China, the UAE, Singapore and Japan were the main import origins during the first eight months of 2017 accounted for about 59% of total imports.
- Maldives:President Yameen’s relationship with India and the US
- (UN)TRAFFICKED: A platform to combat trafficking in India
- IDPs and Military occupation of Northern land Why correlation between caste and land is ignored
- Three die as car rams into train
- KG discovery in Point Pedro sea 150kg in 60 bags - Navy
- Symposium on alcohol menace
- Tax concessions on used electric cars Extend period to three years – VIASL
- Refusal to hoist National Flag Cooray to seek AG’s opinion
- Gintota mayhem Police to crackdown on rumour mongers
- Lanka Marine Services scandal Vasu flays Govt for delay in probe
- Dedicated Courts to hear sleaze cases Start with Bond issue says JVP
- O/L exam to commence on 12 December
- Ajith P. Perera writes to PCoI Denies conversing with Aloysius
- In the wake of violence Gintota divided into 3 for security – Police Preventable if Police acted sooner -IGP
- Fuel Crisis Hoax CPC goes to the CID
- Only 10 detained under PTA Govt Suspects held on serious terror charges
- Speaker agrees to summon Party Leaders’ meeting Kiriella claims breach of Parliamentary privileges occurred Blames CID and AG’s Dept
- PCoI quashes tapping allegations
- Treasury Bonds Probe PM told Aloysius to resign from PTL
- India’s Choice: Saintliness Vs Efficiency
- Commercial Credit Japanese Firm moves in
- Man shot dead at Punchi Borella
- SAITM still exists, claims GMFSPA Group to meet Maha Sangha
- Lanka tour operators to visit Pakistan
- Fake sms on petrol shortage again! Leads to panic buying in Kandy
- ‘Singer Cup’ Under-19 Schools Cricket 20 wickets fall on day one
- Kohli scores 50th international century Bad light saves Sri Lanka
- I want to continue contributing - Kohli
- England motivated as ever even without Stokes
- Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna dies aged 49: WTA
- CMSC – Come and Try Day Out Ranjit Jinasena Memorial Autocross
- Cook captures maiden PGA Tour title
- Walkers Tours regain tag rugby title
- Dialog Champions League 2017 Renown SC occupy top spot
- Record-breaking Valencia maintain Barca chase
- Dimitrov eyes Grand Slam after ATP win
- Bolt to make Aussie cricketers ‘explosive’ runners
- Kandy SC in runaway win
- SLC clarifies Dilruwan’s actions
- India take 49 run lead
- Six-year-old wins two Silvers in shooting events
- Renown rout Blue Stars 4-0
- MAS Unichela emerge champions
- Senkadagala Rally
- Air Force SC in 15-7 win over Police SC
- NITFB settles flood of claims in 2017
- CSE approves LVL Energy Fund IPO
- SLT posts 9- month revenue of Rs 56.4 B
- EU cities fight to gain from London’s losses
- CCC says Pak capitalized while SL dilly dallied
- Asian shares retreat on German coalition impasse
- Alibaba aims beyond China and e-commerce
- FX Management Act flays rupee
- National Chamber Seminar on ‘Budget 2018 – Highlights’
- Canada, Mexico to question US auto content demands
- Brandix JV with Best Pacific, Hong Kong
- Hemas Hospitals Thalawathugoda concludes diabetes awareness drive
- Unilever and MullenLowe most awarded partnership at Effies
- MBSL wins International Europe Award for Quality 2017
- SLIM hosts 16th Brand Excellence Awards
- Asia markets mixed as investors focus on US tax reform
- China’s promised 2030 energy revolution
- Will Europe’s economic miracle be derailed by a central-bank power struggle?
- Meet the world’s youngest self-made billionaire
- Flooding the market with fake rhino horns
- TNA crisis Enmity within
- The March of Folly Restitution with transparency rather than revenge
- The National Flag A Muddled Tamil voice
- Rohingya children Face a bleak future
- New Constitution:National perspective versus political aspirations
- China and Vietnam: Beyond Diplomacy
- Middle East: Kurdish Pawn Sacrificed
- Concretes and abstracts Two comics at the Savoy in London
- Row over beer tax
- Illegal mining Muttur’s sandy secret Hundreds of tons of sand taken away at night
- Eastern Provincial Council destroyed- Hafiz
- eLECTRIC AND HYBRID CARS MUST BE PRICED REASONABLY
- Wigneswaran’s claim Devanampiya Tissa was a Tamil king An academically naïve proposition Prof Raj Somadeva
- There is no journey with the UNP
- Core values of the UNP are eroding - Pradeep Jayewardene
- An argument for a new Constitution
- ‘Otriachchi’, ‘Orumiththa Nadu’, ‘Aekeeya Rajya’ and unitary state
- A Constitutional Framework for Sri Lanka
- PAST LIFE AND RULING PLANETS IN KRISHNAMURTHI PADHDHATHI
- Build before onset of Kona Masa
- Palms of road accident victims
- Want to get rid of malefic Saturn ?
- Installing doors and windows according to Vastu
- Our children and our cinema
- INTERPRETING ASIAN CINEMA: CHALLENGES AHEAD
- How Sanskrit journalism is slowly hogging headlines
- ice manufacturing in South Asia
- CMSC’s season finale concert
- Two documentaries on Sri Lanka in Film South Asia 2017
- Politics of nostalgia
- Vibrancy of classical Sinhala poetry
- Kite Surfing Lanka Kalpitiya An experience of a lifetime
- Ella and mini Adam’s Peak
- A cave of history -Ravana Cave
- Conquering Fashion
- Gavin Ryan’s Salon Professionalism to the next level
- THE WRITER’S KITCHENETTE THE CRANBERRY ADVENTURES
- Calamitous Earthquake in Iran
- Scientists warn of ‘giant leap backward’ at climate talks
- Death of Ananda Senaratne