24th February 2012, www.lankabusinessonline.com
Sri Lanka's exports in December 2011 went up 24 percent to 906 million US dollars from year ago with sharp gains in textiles and rubber products, the central bank said.
Imports during the month went up 34 percent to 1.9 billion dollars with spending on investment goods like transport equipment and building materials rising sharply, a statement said.
The trade gap during December 2011 widened 44 percent to just over a billion dollars.
"The expenditure on imports, although increased by 33.7 percent to 1,910 million US dollars in December 2011, decelerated from a year-on-year increase of 78 percent reported for November 2011," the central bank said.
"The expenditure on imports was driven by continuing demand for investment and intermediate goods.
"Government infrastructure projects financed mainly by foreign loans also raised the demand for investment goods."
The largest contribution to the export earnings in December 2011 came from industrial exports followed by agricultural exports.
Industrial exports increased by 28.9 percent to 703 million dollars in December 2011 compared to the same month of 2010.
"Among the industrial exports, textile and garments remained the major contributor and grew by 25.2 percent to 384 million US dollars followed by rubber products, food, beverages and tobacco and machinery and equipment."
The agricultural exports grew by 10.3 percent, year-on-year, in December 2011 mainly driven by tea and coconut exports.
"Earnings from tea exports grew by 10.5 percent and coconut exports recorded an impressive 97 percent growth in December 2011," the statement said.
"The rubber exports declined as the demand for rubber from domestic industries continued to remain elevated."
Total earnings from exports in the 2011 calendar year increased by 22.4 percent to 10,487 million US dollars compared with 2010.
The share of industrial exports in total exports stood at 76.4 percent in 2011.
Cumulative expenditure on imports during the 2011 year increased by 50.4 percent to 20,230 million US dollars.
The investment goods imports increased by 60.3 percent to 4,663 million US dollars with the bulk of the expenditure going on machinery and equipment, transport equipment and building materials.
Expenditure on petroleum imports increased by 53.4 percent to 4,630 million US dollars in 2011.
Related Info :
• Central Bank Unveils a Robust Roadmap for Sri Lanka for 2012 after Recording the 2nd Consecutive Year of over 8pct Growth
• Sri Lanka Debt to GDP Ratio Falls to 78pct from 82pct in 2010
• Sri Lanka Exports Highest in December 2010. Remittances up 23.6pct in 2010 while Trade Deficit Expands 66.7pct on Import Growth