Sri Lanka’s merchandize exports in August 2021 recorded an increase of 14.4 % to US$ 1,083.56 Mn as compared to US$ 947.2 Mn recorded in August 2020 as per the data released by the Sri Lanka Customs.
Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman, Suresh de Mel, commended the exporters and said it is remarkable to see another month of exports over a billion US$ despite the ongoing pandemic. He also said that, going forward we need to add more value to our exports and explore niche markets, and diversify our product basket and markets.
Graph I: Monthly Export Performance 2019, 2020 & Jan-August 2021 in Millions of US$
Major Exports in August 2021
Export earnings from Apparel Sector have increased by 12.13 % y-o-y to $ 491.5 million in August 2021 with strong performance in exports of Apparel (12.84%) and Woven Fabrics (312.9%). On a year-on-year basis, exports of Made-Up Textile Articles & Yarn and other Textile Articles declined by 64.31% and 20.88% respectively. Further, export earnings from Apparel Sector increased by 8.61 % in August 2021 in comparison to July 2021.
Export earnings from Tea in August 2021 which made up 12% of merchandise exports increased by 13.41% y-o-y to $ 116.78 million and export volume also increased by 16.1% in August 2021 compared to August 2020. Moreover, export earnings from Tea recorded a 1.43% increase in August 2021 in comparison to July 2021.
Export earnings from Rubber and Rubber Finished products have increased by 27.31 % y-o-y to $ 92.34 million in August 2021 with strong performance in exports of Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (33.02%) and industrial & surgical gloves (36.89%). However, exports of gaskets, washers, seals, etc. of Hard Rubber have declined by 44.48 % y-o-y to $ 4.93 million in August 2021.
Earnings from all the major categories of Coconut based products increased in August 2021 compared with August 2020. Earnings from Desiccated Coconut, Liquid Coconut Milk and Coconut cream categorized under the Coconut Kernel Products increased by 42.82%, 13.8% and 72.94% respectively. Being the largest contributor to Coconut based sector, Coco Peat, Fiber Pith & Moulded products which categorized under the Coconut fibre products increased by 28.55% to US$ 17.38Mn in August 2021 in comparison to August 2020. Earnings from Activated Carbon, which categorised under the Coconut shell products decreased by 1.72% in August 2021 compared to August 2020.
Export earnings from Seafood increased by 19.65% to US$ 165.48 Mn in August 2021 compared to August 2020. This increase was mainly due to the increase in earnings from export of Fish Fresh or Chilled (29.44%), Shrimps and Prawns (125%), Lobsters (50%) and Crabs (27.27%).
Meanwhile, export earnings from Electrical and Electronic Products (11.48%) and Food & Beverages (30.39%) recorded increases during the month of August 2021 compared with August 2020.
Major Exports during the period of January - August 2021
For the period of January to August 2021, merchandise exports increased by 22.36 % to US$ 7,886.1 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.
Export earnings from Rubber & Rubber finished products increased by 39.9 % to US$ 708.92 Mn in Jan-August 2021 due to the better performance of exports of Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber (63.68%) and Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (43.31%).
Earnings from all the major categories of Coconut based products increased due to the improved performance in export of Coconut Oil, Desiccated Coconut, Coconut Milk Powder, Liquid Coconut Milk, Coconut cream, Cocopeat, Mattress Fiber, & Activated Carbon.
Meanwhile earnings from export of Electrical and Electronic Components (EEC) increased by 32.96 % to US$ 278.16 Mn in the period of January to August 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020. Export of Insulated wires increased by 60.53 % in during the period of January to August 2021 to US$ 47.18 Mn compared with the corresponding period of previous year. In addition, export of other Electrical & Electronic Products increased by 26.03 % during the period of January to August 2021 to US$ 143.09 Mn compared with the corresponding period of previous year.
Export earnings from Spices and Essential Oils increased significantly in the period of January to August 2021 compared to year 2020 due to the better performance in all the sub categories; Cinnamon, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, essential oils & Oleoresins, etc.
The export sectors that show a positive growth at disaggregate level includes export of Processed Vegetables, Fruits & Juices, Sugars, Sugar Confectionery & Bakery Products, Processed Food, Frozen Fish, Fish Fresh or Chilled, Shrimps and Prawns, Lobsters, Crabs and Other edible fish.
Sri Lanka’s Export Performance in Major Markets
Strong Export Growth recorded for top 10 export markets in the period of January to August 2021. During the first eight months of 2021, exports to United States of America, Sri Lanka’s single largest export destination, increased by 15.3 % to US$ 1,905.02 Mn compared to the same period of 2020. The better performance led by increase in exports of Apparel Sector, 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 9.43% to US$ 604.54 Mn during the period of January to August 2021 compared with the corresponding period of previous year. This performance has resulted in the increased Exports recorded in Apparel Sector and Rubber based Products sectors (Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes, Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber).
Exports to Netherlands and Canada increased by over 50% during the period of January to August 2021 compared with the corresponding period of 2020. Increased exports to Netherlands led by better performance recorded in Apparel sector (79.47%) and Liquid Coconut Milk (57.13%) and increased exports to China led by Mineral Sands, Cocopeat and Frozen fish.
On a region wise comparison exports to all other regions increased except CIS regions during the period of January to August 2021 compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.
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$ 481.41 Mn (increased by 29.74%), Italy US$ 373.36 Mn (increased by 33.1%),
Netherlands US$ 270.14 Mn (increased by 56.63%), Belgium US$ 214.91 Mn (increased by 17.26%) and France US$ 152.73 Mn. (increased by 28.81%).
Export of Services
The services exports estimated by EDB which includes ICT/BPM, Construction, Financial services and Transport & Logistics recorded worth of US $ 2,184.5 Mn during the period of January to August 2021 compared to US$ 1,640.8 Mn recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.
Estimated service exports increased by 33.13 % during the period of January to August 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020.
Policy & Strategic Planning Division - 14.09.2021