Merchandise exports up 1.7% - Jan-Nov ’19 | Sunday Observer

Merchandise exports up 1.7% - Jan-Nov ’19

The total value of merchandise exports of the country for the first 11 months of last year was US$ 10.7b according to provisional statistics. This is a US$ 180m increase in value and a growth of 1.7% when compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

Total merchandise exports recorded in November 2019 was US$ 950m while it was US$ 980m in 2018.

The apparel and textiles sector contributed 47% of the total value of merchandise exports and remained as the largest contributor to total exports followed by Tea (11%), Rubber and Rubber based products (7.5%), Coconut and Coconut based products and Engineering products (5%) while shares of all other sectors recording less than 5%. Only the Apparel (US$ 5,096m) and Tea (US$ 1,241m) sectors recorded over one billion worth of exports, maintaining its usual patterns.

Export values from other sectors are: rubber and rubber based products US$ 815m, coconut and coconut based products US$ 570m, engineering products US$ 550m, petroleum products US$ 311m, food and beverages US$ 333m, spices and essential oils US$ 292m, gems and jewellery including diamonds US$ 288m and fish and fisheries products US$ 252m. The top ten markets for Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports for the period under review were United States of America (US$ 2.856 m), United Kingdom (US$ 925m), India (US$ 703m), Germany

(US$ 594m), Italy ( US$ 490m), Belgium (US 323m), Netherlands (US$ 270m), Japan (US$ 263m), UAE (US$ 256 m), and Canada (US$ 220m).

The USA, the only market with a billion figure, which currently records a 26% of market share has showed a continuous growth over the past six years. The other top markets that displayed positive growth were United Kingdom 3%, Germany 7%, Netherlands 18%, Japan 27%, and Canada 16%. Germany and Canada too are growing markets for last five years except in one instance during the period.

Exports to four markets recorded a drop. They are: India (-0.5%), Italy (-7.6%), Belgium (-1.5%) and UAE (-2.3%). The main exports to the USA from January-November 2019 were: apparel (US$ 2124 m), finished rubber products (US$ 250 m), coconut shell and kernel products (US$ 85m), edible fish products (US$ 33m), electrical and electronic products (US$ 31 m) and nails, screws (US$ 29 m).

The main products to United Kingdom, Canada and Germany are apparel and apparel related items, finished rubber products and electrical and electronic products and coconut kernel products. Products such as apparel, tea, manufactured products, beverages, fruits and vegetables were the prominent products to UAE.

Exports to China recorded values of US$ 209 m with the prominent items being apparel, tea in bulk and edible fish products, while to Pakistan recorded US$ 72m.