Sri Lanka’s merchandize exports in September 2021 recorded US$ 995.8 Mn as per the data released by the Sri Lanka Customs.
EDB Chairman & CE, Suresh D. de Mel said, “Observing the export figures of September, it is remarkable to see that our exporters performed this well amidst travel restrictions and lockdowns due to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka. Exports show a strong resilience with both merchandise & services exports performing well. We are confident that this trend will continue, and I commend all our exporters for their commitment to support the national economy by bringing in the much-needed foreign exchange. My staff and I at the EDB are committed to facilitate the export sector and pledge our support to all exporters during these challenging times.”
Merchandize exports recorded during the third Quarter of 2021 increased by 5.0% to US$ 3,182.83 Mn compared with the same period in 2020. Similarly, exports increased by 6.7% compared with the same period in 2019.
Major Exports in September 2021
Export earnings from Apparel & Textile have increased by 5.83 % y-o-y to $ 457.05 million in September 2021 with strong performance in exports of Apparel (7.71%) and Woven Fabrics (62.73%). On a year-on-year basis, exports of Made-Up Textile Articles & Yarn and other Textile Articles declined by 40.26% and 34.14% respectively. Further, export earnings from Apparel & Textile decreased by 7.01 % in September 2021 in comparison to August 2021.
Export earnings from Rubber and Rubber Finished products have increased by 20.04 % y-o-y to $ 96.09 million in September 2021, with strong performance in exports of industrial & surgical gloves (47.65%), Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (15.31%) and gaskets, washers, seals, etc. of hard rubber (28.72%).
Except Coconut kernel products, export earnings from fiber products and shell products categorized under the Coconut based products increased by 3.98% and 26.73% respectively in September 2021 compared to September 2020.
On year-on- year, export earnings from Desiccated Coconut, Coconut Milk powder and Coconut cream categorized under the Coconut Kernel Products increased by 9.22%, 10.53% and 29.11% respectively in September 2021. However, earnings from export of Coconut Oil and Liquid Coconut Milk decreased by 31.47% and 13.04% respectively in September 2021.
Being the largest contributor to Coconut based sector, Coco Peat, Fiber Pith & Moulded products which are categorized under the Coconut fibre products, increased by 26.73% to US$ 14.08 Mn in September 2021 in comparison to September 2020. Earnings from Activated Carbon, which is categorised under the Coconut shell products increased by 28.6% in September 2021 compared to September 2020.
Export earnings from Seafood increased by 39.21% to US$ 22.58 Mn in September 2021 compared to September 2020. This increase was mainly due to the increase in earnings from export of Shrimps and Prawns, Fish Fresh or Chilled and other edible fish.
Meanwhile, export earnings from Other Export Crops, Paper & Paper products, Non-metallic Mineral Products, Base Metal Products increased by 58.13%, 20.05%, 8.98% and 30.05% respectively during the month of September 2021 compared with September 2020.
Major Exports during the period of January – September 2021
For the period of January to September 2021, merchandise exports increased by 19.3 % to US$ 8,881.93 million compared to the corresponding period of 2020, following increased exports of almost all the major product sectors; Apparel & Textiles, Tea, Rubber-based products, Coconut based products, Electronics & Electronic Components, Spices and Concentrates, Seafood and Ornamental fish as shown in the table below.
Earnings from export of Apparel & Textile increased by 18.5% to US% 3,879.43 Mn during the first nine months in 2021 compared to the same period of 2020, export of apparel and woven fabrics expanded by 21.4% and 104.62% while exports of Made-Up Textile Articles and Yarn and other Textile Articles were down by 51.31% and 3.74%, respectively.
Export earnings from Tea increased by 7.29% to US$ 986.56 Mn during the period of January to September 2021 compared with the corresponding period of 2020. Exports of all the sub categories of tea sector; Tea packets, Bulk Tea, Tea bags, Instant Tea and Green Tea increased by 10.4%, 3.44%, 33.55%, 28.95% and 33.96% respectively during the first nine months of 2021 compared with the same period of 2020.
In parallel, export earnings from Rubber & Rubber finished products increased by 37.19 % to US$ 805.06 Mn in Jan- September 2021 compared with the same period of 2020 attributed to higher exports of Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber (61.59%) and Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (39.43%).
For the first nine months of 2021, export earnings from Coconut & Coconut based products expanded by 24.14% to US$ 608.76 Mn from the same period last year. Earnings from all the major categories of Coconut based products increased in the period of January – September 2021 compared with the corresponding period of 2020 due to the improved performance in export of Liquid Coconut Milk, Coconut cream, Coconut Milk Powder, Cocopeat, Mattress Fiber, & Activated Carbon, Coconut Oil and Desiccated Coconut.
Meanwhile earnings from export of Electrical and Electronic Components (EEC) increased by 25.75 % to US$ 309.62 Mn in the period of January to September 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020. Export of Insulated wires increased by 49.52 % in during the period of January to September 2021 to US$ 52.51 Mn compared with the corresponding period of previous year. In addition, export of Electrical Transformers, Switches, Boards & Panels and Other Electrical & Electronic Products increased by 47%, 33.24% and 19.72 % respectively during the period of January to September 2021 compared with the corresponding period of previous year.
Export earnings from Spices and Essential Oils increased by 36.78% to US$ 320.8 Mn in the period of January to September 2021 compared to year 2020 due to the better performance in all the sub categories; Cinnamon (10.31%), pepper (133.67%), cloves (155.79%), nutmeg & mace (19.20), essential oils (6.63%) and Oleoresins (69.21%), etc.
Sri Lanka’s Export Performance in Major Markets
Strong exports were recorded for the 10 major export markets, which accounted for 63% of total merchandise exports during the period January to September 2021.
During the first nine months of 2021, exports to United States of America, Sri Lanka’s single largest export destination, increased by 14.97 % to US$ 2,175.46 Mn compared to the same period of 2020. The better performance led by increase in exports of Apparel & Textile, Rubber based Products (Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes, Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber), Motor Vehicles Parts, Activated Carbon, Tea Packets and Cinnamon.
Exports to United Kingdom as the second largest trading partner recorded an increase of 2.31% to US$ 679.55 Mn during the period of January to September 2021 compared with the corresponding period of previous year. This performance has resulted in the increased Exports recorded in Apparel & Textile, Rubber based Products sectors (Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes, Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber) and Other Electrical & Electronic Products.
Exports to Netherlands increased by over 50% during the period of January to September 2021 compared with the corresponding period of 2020. Increased exports to Netherlands led by better performance recorded in Apparel & Textile (73.04%) and Liquid Coconut Milk (49.25%).
Exports to FTA Partners
During the period of January to September 2021, exports to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners accounted for 7.2% of total merchandise exports increased by 25.25% to US$ 635.43 Mn.
Moreover, Exports to India and Pakistan increased by 24.97% and 27.66% y-o-y to US$ 566.94 Mn and US$ 68.49 Mn respectively during the first nine months of 2021. Increased Exports to India is mainly supported by increased exports of Woven fabrics (194.92%) and Bicycles Not Motorized (276.31%) in the first nine months of 2021.
Sri Lanka’s Export Performance in Regions
On a region wise comparison exports to all other regions increased except CIS regions during the period of January to September 2021 compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.
Exports to the European Union (EU) which comprised 24% of Sri Lanka’s exports during the period of January to September 2021 increased by 27.78% y-o-y to US$ 2,122.48 Mn.
Breakdown of exports to the top five EU markets which accounted for 80% of Sri Lanka’s total exports to the EU were; Germany US$ 544.94 Mn (increased by 26.73%), Italy US$ 418.69 Mn (increased by 26.78%), Netherlands US$ 306 Mn (increased by 51.13%), Belgium US$ 243.11 Mn (increased by 14.21%) and France US$ 173.95 Mn. (increased by 27.28%).
Export of Services
The estimated value of services exports for the period of January to September 2021 was 2,222.5 Million dollars, increasing 23.52 % over the corresponding period of 2020. The services exports estimated by EDB consists of ICT/BPM, Construction, Financial services and Transport & Logistics.
Revised Export Target & Achievement
The revised export target of the Export Development Board for 2021 is US$ 15.72 billion and of that we expect US$ 12.14 billion from merchandise exports and US$ 3.58 billion from services exports. During the period January to September 2021, earnings from exports recorded US$ 11.1 billion including the estimated services data for July to September and 70.63% achieved from the revised export target.
Further, earnings from Merchandise exports and services exports achieved 73.17 % and 62.01% respectively during the period of January to September 2021.
Policy & Strategic Planning Division - 29.10.2021