Sri Lanka’s export earnings registered a growth of 2.52% with US$ Mn 993.73 in February, compared to the previous year, maintaining the growth momentum recorded during the last five months as per the provisional statistics released by Sri Lanka Customs. This is the highest export figure recorded for the month of February during the last five-year period.
The growth of exports was supported by increase in global demand notably for products such as Electrical and Electronic components (EEC) and Rubber Gloves. Notable increases in exports were observed to Netherlands, China, Canada and Spain.
Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Suresh De Mel opined; “Sri Lankans are strong in facing challenges, and the exporters have shouldered the task of placing the economy of the country on the right track with immense difficulties. A tribute to exporters for their commendable performance during unstable circumstances”.
Export Performance of Major Sectors
Exports of Electrical and Electronic components (EEC) and, showed resilient performance, registering triple-digit growth for the period of January to February 2021 compared to the corresponding period of previous year. This growth was resulted by increased exports of transformers to Spain.
Earnings from export of Spices and Essential Oils, Coconut based Products, Rubber based Products, Tea and Food & Beverages were increased in first two months of 2021 compared to first two months of 2020.
Exports of rubber products especially industrial and surgical rubber gloves, showed strong performance, registering double-digit growth (54.27%) for the period of January to February 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020.
Despite the decline in the export of Apparel, earnings from exports of other textiles and made-up textile articles increased by 27.43% and 5.69% during the period under review.
Sri Lanka’s Export Performance in Major Markets
The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31st January 2020 and the transition period which applied the import tariff similar to EU, ended on 31st December 2020. Following BREXIT the UK introduced a new tariff regime, namely, UK Global Tariff (UKGT) with effect from 01st of January 2021.
The exports to EU region which accounted for 28 % of total merchandise exports of Sri Lanka increased by 29.32% to US$ 532.10 Mn in the first two months of 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020.
Meanwhile, exports to United Kingdom as the second largest trading partner recorded a decrease of 21.39 % to US$ 141.37 Mn during January to February 2021 compared to the period of January to February 2020.
Being the largest single export destination, exports to United States of America recorded US$ 471.79 Mn which is a decline of 10.63 % in comparison to US$ 527.9 Mn recorded in January to February 2020.
As shown in the following table, increases in exports were recorded in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, China, Canada and Turkey during the period of January to February 2021 with the corresponding period of 2020.
Export of Services
The services exports estimated by EDB which includes ICT/BPM, Construction, Financial services and Transport & Logistics show exports of US $ 707.96 Mn for the first two months of 2021 compared to US$ 661.98 Mn recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. 2020. Estimated service exports increased by 6.95% in the period of January to February 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020.
Policy & Strategic Planning Division - 18.03.2021