Total merchandise exports for Jan & Feb 2020, was US$ 1,931 which resulted in a reduction of 3.6% compared to the same period in 2019.
The Apparel exports comprised of US$ 939 million exporting to the main markets of USA, UK, Italy, Germany and Belgium followed by Tea US$ 208 Million which is the main agricultural export of the country. Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Russia being the main export markets for packeted tea. The bulk tea exports has moved to Iran, Russia, Turkey and Iraq.
The Coconut & Coconut based products revenue which comprises of three subsectors namely Kernel, Shell and Fiber was US$ 100 million during the first two months of this year. These products were mainly exported to USA, Germany, India, China, Mexico & Japan
The Rubber Finished Products sector recorded US$ 142 Mn which has seen a drop by US$ 9Mn. The products include Pneumatic & Re-treated Rubber Tires & Tubes, Industrial & Surgical Rubber Gloves, Gaskets, Washers, Seals of hard rubber, Plates, Sheets, Rods exported to USA, Germany Italy, Belgium, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. The exports of Insulated Wires were US$ 12 Mn to India, Maldives and Mexico. Switch boards & panels, Electrical Transformers were the other Electric & Electronic & Mechanical products that were exported.
The Indigenous agricultural product Cinnamon exports US$ 25 Mn, Pepper US$ 3Mn, Cloves US$ 3Mn and Essential Oils -US$ 3 Mn. These products recorded a negative growth compared to a similar period of the previous year. The Export earnings from Fruits & Vegetables was US$ 7 million and the export earnings from Confectionery & Bakery products was US$ 4 million. The exports of such products have increased respectively by 9% and 19% in comparison to the mentioned two months during the previous year. The Edible Fish & Fisheries Products exports were US$ 44 Mn during the period under review.
Sri Lankan exporters have shipped 2,429 products line at six digit HS number to 174 destinations during the first two months of the year 2020 which included USA -US$ 260 Mn, UK - US$ 95Mn, India - US$ 73 Mn, Germany - US$ 51Mn and Italy - US$ 40 Mn .
The decrease of 3.6 % in exports of the total merchandise exports is due to the prevailing global economic slowdown and we could anticipate the exports will further reduce in the coming few months states the Chairman of the Export Development Board Mr Prabhash Subasinghe