Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports increased by 16.71% to US$ 1,125.69 Million in December 2021 compared to December 2020 as per the data released by the Sri Lanka Customs. In parallel, 12.48% increase recorded in December 2021 compared to December 2019.
Exports maintained above one billion dollars for the sixth consecutive month in December this year.
Releasing the latest provisional data, Hon. Trade Minister, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena appreciated the contribution of exporters to the economy, despite the unprecedented economic conditions they had to deal with, assuring more support to reach a $ 20 billion target this year.
“Exports are the only hope that can pull Sri Lanka out of the vicious cycle of the current account and put it back on a sound economic growth path. The structural change that was brought in with the open economic policies, Sri Lanka had struggled to move out from it. I have all the faith in our export community and as the subject minister I will assure to extend the fullest support to reach greater heights in the next three years,” he said.
EDB Chairman Suresh de Mel said 96.2% of the revised export forecast of $ 15.72 billion was achieved during 2021.
“The hard work and resilience of the export community was reflected in last year’s results. They surpassed the expected merchandise exports target of $ 12.14 billion, recording an increase of 24.17% to $ 12.5 billion,” de Mel said.
From left: EDB Additional Director General Development Malani Baddegamage, EDB Chairman Suresh de Mel, Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena, and EDB Director General Chithranjali Dissanayake at the media briefing yesterday on the export sector’s performance
Major Exports in December 2021
Export earnings from Apparel & Textile have increased by 17.88 % y-o-y to $ 531.05 million in December 2021 with strong performance in exports of Apparel (17.56%) and Woven Fabrics (86.18%). On a year-on-year basis, exports Made-Up Textile Articles declined by 31.14% respectively in December 2021 in comparison to December 2020.
Export earnings from Rubber and Rubber Finished products have increased by 17.57 % y-o-y to $ 93.49 million in December 2021, with strong performance in exports of Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (39.92%).
On monthly analysis, export earnings of kernel products, fiber products and shell products categorized under the Coconut based increased by 30.15%, 6.3% and 46.3% respectively in December 2021 compared to December 2020.
Year-on- year, export earnings from Coconut Oil, Desiccated Coconut, Coconut Milk powder, Coconut cream and Liquid Coconut Milk categorized under the Coconut Kernel Products increased by 8.15%, 50.62%, 40.27%, 18.69% and 33.98% respectively in December 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 8.83% to US$ 11.96 Mn in December 2021 in comparison to December 2020. Earnings from Activated Carbon, which is categorised under the Coconut shell products increased by 47.07% to US$ 14.68 Mn in December 2021 compared to December 2020.
Export Earnings from Food & Beverages increased by 40.71% to US$ 38.78 Mn in December 2021 compared to December 2020. This increase is mainly due to the increase in export of Processed Food (73.54%) and Animal Feed (57.81%).
Export earnings from the Electrical & Electronics Components increased by 2.16% y-o-y to US$ 36.94 Mn in December 2021 with strong performance in exports of Insulated wires & cables (23.87%), Switches, Boards & Panels (27.21%) and Electrical Transformers (64.8%).
Export earnings from Spices & Concentrates increased by 32.48% y-o-y to US$ 43.98 Mn in December 2021, with the strong performance recorded in Cinnamon (10.67%) and Pepper (92.09%).
Export earnings from Seafood increased by 85.13% to US$ 26.64 Mn in December 2021 compared to December 2020. This increase was mainly due to the increase in earnings from export of Frozen fish (109.47%), Shrimps and Prawns (46.05%), Fish Fresh or Chilled (105.47%) and other edible fish (55.07%).
Further, export earnings from Ornamental fish increased by over 100% to US$ 2.07 Mn in December 2021 compared to December 2020.
Major Exports during the period of January – December 2021
For the period of January to December 2021, merchandise exports increased by 24.17 % to US$ 12,475.29 Million compared to the corresponding period of 2020. Almost all the major product sectors; Apparel & Textiles, Tea, Rubber-based products, Coconut based products, Electronics & Electronic Components, Spices and Concentrates, Food & Beverages, Seafood and Ornamental fish as shown in the table below, recorded increased exports.
Apparel & Textile exports increased by 22.93% to US$ 5,415.92 Mn during the period of January to December 2021 compared to the same period of 2020, export of apparel and woven fabrics expanded by 25.7% and 99.84% while exports of Made-Up Textile Articles and Yarn and other Textile Articles were down by 44.81% and 8.16%, respectively.
Export earnings from Tea increased by 6.72% to US$ 1,324.38 Mn during the period of January to December 2021 compared with the corresponding period of 2020. Exports of all the sub categories of tea sector; Tea packets (10.11%), Bulk Tea (2.47%,), Tea bags (84.07%), Instant Tea (19.46%) and Green Tea (22.79%) increased during the period of January to December 2021 compared with the same period of 2020.
Export earnings from Rubber & Rubber finished products increased by 33.87 % to US$ 1,092.6 Mn in January - December 2021 compared with the same period of 2020 attributed to higher exports of Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber (47.11%) and Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (40.37%).
For the period of January to December 2021, export earnings from Coconut & Coconut based products expanded by 25.81% to US$ 836.1 Mn from the same period last year. Earnings from all the major categories of Coconut based products increased in the period of January – December 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 28.38 % to US$ 421.42 Mn in the period of January to Decmber 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020. Export of Insulated wires increased by 43.15 % in during the period of January to December 2021 to US$ 70.7 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 64.89%, 34.19% and 22.43 % respectively during the period of January to December 2021 compared with the corresponding period of previous year.
Export earnings from Spices and Essential Oils increased by 36.14% to US$ 456.71 Mn in the period of January to December 2021 compared to year 2020 due to the better performance in all the sub categories; Cinnamon (11.75%), pepper (131.62%), cloves (129.28%), nutmeg & mace (7.88) and Oleoresins (77.73%), etc.
Sri Lanka’s Export Performance in Major Markets
Strong export performance was recorded for the 10 major export markets, which accounted for 63% of total merchandise exports during the period January to December 2021.
During the period of January to December 2021, exports to United States of America, Sri Lanka’s single largest export destination, increased by 22.4 % to US$ 3,068.8 Mn compared to the same period of 2020. The better performance led by increase in exports of Apparel & Textile (17.89%), Rubber based Products (Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (47.62%), Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber (40.47%)), Motor Vehicles Parts (151.34%) , Activated Carbon (40.29%) and Cinnamon (17.18%).
Exports to United Kingdom as the second largest trading partner recorded an increase of 2.55 % to US$ 933.72 Mn during the period of January to December 2021 compared with the corresponding period of previous year. This performance has resulted in the increased Exports recorded in Apparel & Textile (15.22%) , Rubber based Products sectors (Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (39.23%), Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber (19.25%)), Frozen Fish (33.33%) and Other Electrical & Electronic Products (12.64%).
Exports to FTA Partners
During the period of January to December 2021, exports to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners accounted for 7.2% of total merchandise exports increased by 33.57 % to US$ 906.99 Mn.
Moreover, Exports to India and Pakistan increased by 34.84% and 23.3% y-o-y to US$ 815.11 Mn and US$ 91.88 Mn respectively during the period of January to December 2021. Increased Exports to India is mainly supported by increased exports of Animal Feed (26.19%), Pepper (158.0%), Woven fabrics 134.52%) and Bicycles Not Motorized (239.6%) in the period of January to December 2021.
In addition, better performance recorded in Pakistan led by Desiccated Coconut, Other Articles of Stones, Woven Fabrics and Perfumes, Cosmetics, Shampoos & Makeup Preparations and Other Electrical & Electronic Products.
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 December 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 December 2021 increased by 29.78 % y-o-y to US$ 2,948.17 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$ 754.11 Mn (increased by 32.21%), Italy US$ 578.91 Mn (increased by 26.59%), Netherlands US$ 425.72 Mn (increased by 46.71 %), Belgium US$ 334.32 Mn (increased by 13.14%) and France US$ 245.92 Mn. (increased by 33.12%).
Export of Services
The estimated value of services exports for the period of January to December 2021 was 2,647.75 Million dollars, increasing 22.6 % over the corresponding period of 2020. The services exports estimated by EDB consists of ICT/BPM, Construction, Financial services and Transport & Logistics.
Revised Export Forecast & Achievement
The revised export forecast 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 December 2021, earnings from exports recorded US$ 15.12 billion including the estimated services data for October to December and 96.2 % achieved from the revised export target.
Further, earnings from Merchandise exports and services exports achieved 102.78 % and 73.88% respectively during the period of January to December 2021.
Policy & Strategic Planning Division - 18.01.2022