27th February 2013, www.news360.lk
Sri Lanka’s consumer electronics and domestic appliances imports have seen robust growth during the year 2010 and 2011, but has slowed down in the year 2012, with number of products recording a decline in imports both in value and quantity.
A study conducted by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce says, the 2010 and 2011 growth was propelled by the overvalued exchange rate coupled with low interest rates and reduction in taxes applied for the importation of those goods.
The study says, the 2012 moderate growth was due to the sharp fall in the rupee, ceiling on credit and increased cost of borrowing.
The value of imports coming under the HS Chapter 84, which covers a large variety of machinery and parts, classified as investment goods in addition to consumer electronics and domestic appliances have recorded a 66% growth in 2011 and 19% in 2012.
“The growth in imports in this category reflects increasing demand for investment goods as well as demand for durable consumer electronics”, added the Chamber in a statement issued.
The Chamber says the expenditure on importation of electronic machinery and equipment coming under HS Chapter 85 has increased by 57% in 2011 and by 18% in 2012.
As a percentage of total imports, Chapter 84 has accounted for 8.2% and Chapter 85 has accounted for 6% in 2012.
The study finds that the decline in consumer electronic items imported in 2012 has been modest compared to the high rate of growth experienced during 2010 and 2011.
However, the Chamber says, the volume imported of most items in 2012 remains well above the annual average volume of imports during 2005-2009.
“For example the number of household type refrigerators imported increased by 267% in 2011 to reach 167,844 units. In 2012 although quantity imported declined by 26%, the volume of imports of 119,923 units is well above the average of less than 50,000 units per year imported during 2005-2009”, added the Chamber in its findings.
While most products analyzed in the report have recorded a decline in imports in 2012, few products have recorded an increase.
These are air conditioning machines, televisions and mobile phones.
During the year 2011, and 2012, items such as fans, rice cookers and mobile phones have exceeded 1 million units imported per year.
The items where imports exceeded 500,000 units per year in 2011 and 2012 are televisions, electric kettles, electric irons and fruit or vegetable juice extractors.
Items that have recorded imports in excess of 100,000 units a year during 2011 and 2012 are fans, household type refrigerators, portable computers, other types of computers, toasters and radio broadcast receivers.
Personal care electronic items such as shavers, hair clippers, hair removing appliances, hair dryers have recorded a modest growth over the years and the number of units imported of each item still remains below 50,000 units a year.
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