Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports increased by 13% to US$ 1,062.63 Million in January 2022 compared to January 2021 as per the data released by the Sri Lanka Customs. Further, it is a 5.7% increase when compared to January 2020.
EDB Chairman, Suresh D de Mel said, " Exports performance in January 2022 has been remarkable and the growth has been all encompassing as almost all the major sectors have exhibited encouraging trends. We are hopeful that this trend will continue, and we can see a strong recovery through the end of the year”.
He commended the exporters and said going forward we need to add more value to our exports and explore niche markets, and diversify our product basket and markets. Whilst appreciating that the US and the EU are the largest markets, we need to expand our market share in Asia. The proposed Bangladesh PTA will certainly help in this regard. Export product diversification should simultaneously happen to create more billion-dollar industries in Sri Lanka.
Monthly Merchandize Export Performance, January 2020- 2022 in Millions of US$
Sources: Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Customs & Sri Lanka Export Development Board
Major Exports in January 2022
Export earnings from Apparel & Textile have increased by 22.1 % y-o-y to $ 514.41 million in January 2022 with strong performance in exports of Apparel (24.25%) and Woven Fabrics (50.24%). On a year-on-year basis, exports Made-Up Textile Articles declined by 28.68% respectively in January 2022 in comparison to January 2021.
Export earnings from tea in January 2022 which made up 12% of merchandise exports, decreased by 9.67% y-o-y to US$ 91.22 Mn. Although export of tea packets increased by 2.25% in January 2022 compared to January 2021, export of bulk tea was declined by 20.06% in January 2022. Moreover, 8.5 % decline recorded in tea exports in January 2022 compared to January 2020.
Export earnings from Rubber and Rubber Finished products have increased by 3.52 % y-o-y to $ 87.12 million in January 2022, with positive performance in exports of Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (4.08%) and Industrial & surgical gloves (2.62%).
On monthly analysis, export earnings of kernel products, fiber products and shell products categorized under the Coconut based increased by 40.7%, 18.97% and 26.01% respectively in January 2022 compared to January 2021.
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 31.75%, 75.92%, 19.82%, 52.19% and 33.26% respectively in January 2022.
Being the largest contributor to Coconut based sector, Coco Peat, Fiber Pith & Moulded products which are categorized under the Coconut fibre products, increased by 27.83% to US$ 15.11 Mn in January 2022 in comparison to January 2021. Earnings from Activated Carbon, which is categorised under the Coconut shell products increased by 2% to US$ 11.23 Mn in January 2022 compared to January 2021.
Export earnings from the Electrical & Electronics Components increased by 12.62% y-o-y to US$ 35.87 Mn in January 2022 with strong performance in exports of Insulated wires & cables (40.08%), Switches, Boards & Panels (11.42%) and Electrical Transformers (72.22%).
Export earnings from Seafood increased by 42.66% to US$ 24.11 Mn in January 2022 compared to January 2021. This increase was mainly due to the increase in earnings from export of Frozen fish (53.82%), Fish Fresh fish (117.33%) and Shrimps (33.2%).
Further, export earnings from Ornamental fish increased by 45.61% to US$ 1.78 Mn in January 2022 compared to January 2021.
However, export earnings from Spices and Essential Oils decreased by 17.12% to US$ 34.99 Mn in the month of January 2022 compared to month of January 2021 due to the poor performance in Cinnamon (-15.18%) and cloves (-70.78%). Despite the decline in the sector, earnings from pepper increased by 13.39% in January 2022 compared to January 2021.
Sri Lanka’s Export Performance in Major Markets
Strong export performance was recorded for the major export markets which accounted for 65% of total merchandise exports during the period January 2022. Eight markets out of top 10 markets was recorded positive performance except Italy & China.
During the month of January 2022, exports to United States of America, Sri Lanka’s single largest export destination, increased by 26.43 % to US$ 295.25 Mn compared to the month of January 2021. The better performance led by increase in exports of Apparel & Textile (31.6%), Rubber based Products (Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (14.43%) and Cinnamon (49.6%).
Exports to United Kingdom as the second largest trading partner recorded an increase of 31.99 % to US$ 81.16 Mn in January 2022 compared to January 2021. This performance has resulted in the increased Exports recorded in Apparel & Textile (42.8%) and Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (26.32%).
Exports to FTA Partners
During the month of January 2022, exports to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners accounted for 7.2% of total merchandise exports increased by 28 % to US$ 80.31 Mn.
Moreover, Exports to India and Pakistan increased by 28.9% and 21% y-o-y to US$ 71.72 Mn and US$ 8.59 Mn respectively during the month of January 2022. Increased Exports to India is mainly supported by increased exports of Animal Feed (11%), Pepper (17.86%), Woven fabrics (26.5%) and Apparel (65.51%) in January 2022.
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 regions increased during the month of January 2022 compared to January 2021.
Exports to the European Union (EU) which comprised 20% of Sri Lanka’s exports during the month of January 2022 increased by 1.33 % y-o-y to US$ 206.74 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$ 60.2 Mn (increased by 12.63%), Italy US$ 49.69 Mn (decreased by 6.32%), Netherlands US$ 38.68 Mn (increased by 10.96 %), Belgium US$ 24.78 Mn (increased by 4.56%) and France US$ 23.51 Mn. (increased by 12.65%).
Export of Services
The estimated value of services exports for the month of January 2022 was 313.22 Million dollars, increasing 42.2 % over the corresponding month of 2021. The services exports estimated by EDB consists of ICT/BPM, Construction, Financial services and Transport & Logistics.
Policy & Strategic Planning Division - 22.02.2022