Central Bank Of Sri Lanka’s Economic Research Department has released the “Sri Lanka’s External Sector Performance February 2010 and January-February 2010”. (Click HERE for the original “doc“ument) They do continue to publish reports in Microsoft “DOC” format. It could be published as a PDF or just as I have published below, which might help to reach wider audience. Interest in Sri Lanka and it’s ‘s economy seem to be high. Value of Sri Lankan Rupee also need to rise in order to reach the perfect balance.
Basically the news is good as we continue to increase exports and imports. Economic activities are in small scales compared to most of the countries I am familiar with but it is a sizable chunk in Magerata economy. Even though the exports grew by 20% the trade deficit also grew to $344 Million (about Rs 39158 Million at todays rate,)
Sri Lanka’s External Trade Performance
External Sector Performance – February 2010
Sri Lanka’s external sector performance showed signs of improvement along with the gradual recovery of the global economy. Earnings from exports grew by 20.0 per cent in February 2010 to US dollars 629 million led by higher earnings from agricultural and industrial exports. The expenditure on imports also increased by 60.6 per cent to US dollars 973 million, due to the increased demand for imports within all the sub sectors. Accordingly, the trade deficit expanded to US dollars 344 million in February 2010.
Sources: Central Bank of Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Customs
Earnings from agricultural exports, which accounted for 27.0 per cent of total exports, increased in February 2010, year-on-year, led by tea, rubber and minor agricultural exports. Tea and rubber, whose export volumes increased by 20.1 per cent and 44.1 per cent, respectively, continued to fetch higher prices in the international market. Tea prices increased by 25.7 per cent to US dollars 4.35 per kg mainly due to the finer quality of Ceylon tea exports and the supply shortages in the international market. Rubber prices increased to US dollars 2.86 per kg, reflecting a 95.4 per cent increase compared to February 2009, mainly due to the recovery in international demand. Supply shortages due to the adverse weather conditions that prevailed in the major rubber producing countries in Asia also helped increase the international rubber prices. Earnings from minor agricultural exports increased due to higher prices fetched by fruits, coffee, and cocoa products and increased volumes of vegetables, arecanuts, cashew and essential oils. Export earnings from certain spices, such as cinnamon and cloves, increased led by higher volumes and prices. The industrial exports, which were affected by the global economic crisis, rebounded in February 2010, led by the exports of processed food and beverages as well as rubber products. Although exports of textile and garments and ceramic products declined in February 2010, year-on-year, they reflect an improvement since January 2010.
All major categories of imports increased in February 2010. Expenditure on imports of consumer goods increased significantly, with notable increases in food imports such as rice, sugar and wheat. Expenditure on imports of non-food consumer durables also increased significantly in February 2010. Amongst intermediate goods, expenditure on petroleum imports increased substantially in February, year-on-year, as the average import price of crude oil rose by 71.4 per cent to US dollars 78.23 per barrel. Import expenditure on fertilizer increased in February 2010, compared with the same period in 2009, mainly due to the substantially higher import volumes. Imports of investment goods also increased in February 2010 led by higher expenditure on transport equipment, building materials and machinery and equipment, which augurs well for future economic activity.
During the first two months of 2010, foreign remittances increased by 13.0 per cent over the corresponding period of 2009 to US dollars 564 million. The gross official reserves, with and without Asian Clearing Union (ACU) funds, were at US dollars 5,408 million and US dollars 5,032 million, respectively, by end February 2010. Based on the previous 12 months average imports of US dollars 921 million per month, the gross official reserves, without ACU funds, were equivalent to 5.5 months of imports.
The performance of external trade during the period is further illustrated in the following table.
External Trade Performance: February 2010 and January – February 2010
||February 2009 US$ mn
||February 2010 US$ mn
||Growth – February (per cent)
||Jan -Feb 2009 US$ mn
||Jan -Feb 2010 US$ mn
||Growth – Jan -Feb (per cent)
|of which, tea
|of which, textiles and garments Mineral
|of which, food and drink
|of which, other consumer goods
|of which, petroleum
|of which, textile and clothing
of which, machinery and equipment
of which, transport equipment
of which, building material
Balance of Trade
Source: Central Bank of Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Customs