Sri Lanka's exports rose 10.7 percent to 917.8 million US dollars in August 2013 from a year earlier, and import dropped 7.7 percent to 1.6 billion US dollars, the Central Bank said.
Export earnings from tea grew 49.3 percent to 142.8 million US dollars and apparel exports barely grew 2.1 percent to 366.5 million US dollars. Rubber products export value dropped 8.0 percent to 77.7 million US dollars.
Imports fell 7.7 percent to 1.6 billion US dollars in August. Consumer goods rose 18.6 percent to 266.6 million US dollars and intermediate goods fell 5.7 percent to 1,017 million US dollars though fuel imports rose 7 percent to 531.3 million US dollars.
Investment goods plunged 25.7 percent to 330.5 million US dollars, with machinery and equipment falling 33 percent to 172.5 million US dollars and transport equipment falling 46 percent to 45.8 million US dollars.
Building material imports were up 13.8 percent to 908.8 million US dollars.
The trade deficit narrowed 24 percent to 698 million US dollars. Merchandise trade deficits occur when domestic economic agents earn money from outside the trade account (exports of goods) and spend the proceeds, triggering imports.
These include remittances (exports of labour), tourism, foreign borrowings (exports of debt) and even foreign direct investments (exports of investments).
In August remittances rose 16.3 percent to 570 million US dollars, earnings from tourism were up 34.7 percent to 110.2 million US dollars and inflows to the government was up 0.8 percent to 318 million US dollars.