Sri Lanka’s export earnings in November 2020 amounted to US$ 748.58 million, which was 20.97% lower than the November 2019 and 11.84% lower than October 2020, the Export Development Board (EDB) stated.
As per the Customs statistics, earnings from merchandise exports recorded a negative growth of 20.97% in November 2020 to US$ 747.58 million as compared to the value of US$ 978.80 million recorded in November 2019 due to the adverse impact of second wave of Covid-19 pandemic within the country and globally. Reduction recorded in October exports due to the C19 outbreak in Sri Lanka which has had a direct impact on our manufacturing and export facilities also continued in November 2020.
Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Suresh De Mel said; “During the period January to November 2020, earnings from exports recorded US$ 11.84 billion including the estimated services data for July to November which is 88.47% achievement from the revised export target of US$ 13.39 Billion set for 2020. Therefore, our resilient export community and all employees in the export sector should be admired for this remarkable performance in the prevailing crisis situation in the country and globally.
Although the adverse impact of second wave of Covid-19 pandemic on the export sector, Agriculture Exports such as Coconut based, Spices specially Cinnamon were much stronger than expected in November 2020”
Further, adverse global market conditions for Sri Lanka’s key exports were aggravated by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic experienced by many countries, leading to low demand for exports of Sri Lanka.
Decreases in exports were recorded top 10 export markets in November 2020 compared to November 2019. Although, exports to CIS Region recorded a marginal increase in November 2020 compared to November 2019, exports to other regions were declined.
Export Performance of Major Sectors in November 2020
Export earnings from Apparel & Textiles declined by 32.75 % to US$ 324.92 Mn during the month of November 2020 compared with US$ 483.17 Mn recorded in November 2019. In parallel, 8.86 % decline recorded in November 2020 in comparison to October 2020. Despite the decline in the sector, earnings from exports of made-up Textile articles and other textiles increased by 71.04% and 29.86% respectively in November 2020 in comparison to November 2019. In parallel, 221.45 % and 5.37% increases recorded respectively in November 2020 in comparison to October 2020.
Export earnings from tea which made up 12% of merchandise exports decreased by 5.17 % y-o-y to US$ 96.21 Mn in November 2020 compared to November 2019. Similarly, export earnings from tea recorded 14.21 % decrease in November 2020 in comparison to October 2020.
In addition, Export earnings from Rubber & Rubber finished products have increased by 12.66 % y-o-y to US$ 69.57 Mn in November 2020 due to the better performance in exports of Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (8.11%) and Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber (39.32%). However, exports of Rubber Plates, Sheets Rods of Vulcanized or Unhardened Rubber and Gaskets, Washers, Seals etc. of Hard Rubber have decreased by 11.52 % & 40.51% respectively in November 2020 in comparison to November 2019.
Earnings from all the major categories of Coconut based products increased in November 2020 compared with November 2019. Earnings from Coconut Oil, Coconut Fresh Nuts, Coconut Milk Powder, Coconut Cream, Liquid Coconut Milk and Coconut Flour categorized under the Coconut Kernel Products increased y-o-y by 50.2%, 14.29 %, 25.54 %, 37.62%, 61.73% and 171.43 % respectively in November 2020. Being the largest contributor to Coconut based sector, Coco Peat, Fiber Pith & Moulded products which categorized under the Coconut fibre products increased by 43.68 % to US$ 11.71 Mn in November 2020 in comparison to November 2019. Earnings from Activated Carbon, which categorised under the Coconut shell products increased by 11.76 % in November 2020 compared to November 2019.
Export earnings from Spices and Essential Oils have increased by 40.64% to US$ 34.02 Mn in November 2020 compared with the value of US$ 24.19 Mn recorded in November 2019 due to the better performance recorded in exports of Cinnamon (10.16%) and Pepper (88.10%).
Meanwhile, earnings from export of Electrical and Electronic Components (EEC) decreased by 11.71% to US$ 25.42 Mn in November 2020 in comparison to November 2019. However, earnings from export of EEC increased by 24.06 % in November 2020 compared with October 2020.
Export Performance during the period of January – November 2020
Total merchandize export earnings for January to November 2020 was US$ 8,980.78 Mn compared to US $ 10,795.16 Mn recorded in a similar period of the previous year – a decline of 16.81 %.
Major exports such as Apparel & Textiles (US$ 3,955.33 Mn), Tea (US$ 1,127.98 Mn), Rubber & Rubber based products (US$ 736.68 Mn) and Electrical & Electronic Components (US$ 292.12 Mn) recorded decrease of 22.38%, 9.08%, 9.66% and 17.16% respectively during January – November 2020 compared to the similar period of previous year.
However, export of Coconut & Coconut Based Products (US$ 609.68 Mn), Spices and Concentrates (US$ 302.36 Mn) and Other Export crops (US$ 66.19 Mn) recorded positive growth rates during the period.
The export sectors that shows a positive growth at disaggregate level includes export of Made-up Textile Articles, Other Textile Articles, Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber, Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk Powder, Coconut cream, Liquid Coconut Milk, Coconut Flour, Coconut Vinegar, Coco Peat, Fiber Pith & Moulded products, Coconut husk chips, Activated Carbon, Coconut Shell Pieces, Powder & Charcoal, Cinnamon, Essential oils, Ginger, Processed Vegetables, Fruits & Juices, Sugars, Sugar Confectionery & Bakery Products, Rice, Black Gram, Lentils, Arecanuts, Starches, Glues, Enzymes, Other Plastic Products and Petroleum Gases.
Earnings from export of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) related products increased by 47.42 % to US$ 807.63 Mn in January to November 2020 compared with the value of US$ 547.85 Mn recorded in the corresponding period of previous year. The strong performance was mainly due to the increased exports of Other made-up articles (HS 630790) and Articles of apparel and clothing accessories of plastics (HS 392620). As a result of increased export of Articles of apparel and clothing accessories of plastics, export of Plastic Products increased by 151.48% to US$ 170.35 Mn in January to November 2020 compared with the value of US$ 67.74 Mn recorded in the corresponding period of previous year.
Sri Lanka’s Trade Performance in Major Markets
The top five export destinations during the period Jan-October 2020 were United States of America (US$ 2,267.48 Mn), United Kingdom (US$ 842.80 Mn), India (US$ 546.49 Mn), Germany (US$ 519.07 Mn) and Italy (US$ 406.81 Mn) absorbed over 50% of exports recorded in the period.
Being the largest single export destination, United States of America has absorbed US$ 178.27 Mn worth of exports in November 2020 recording a decline of 33.21 % in comparison to US$ 266.91 Mn absorbed in November 2019. Also, exports to United States of America decreased by 20.62 % in January-November 2020 in comparison to the corresponding period of previous year.
Exports to United Kingdom as the largest trading partner in the EU Region recorded marginal decrease of 1.45% to US$ 76.07 Mn in November 2020 compared with November 2019.
Further, exports to top 10 markets have also shown poor performance during the month of November 2020 as well as January to November 2020.
Except exports to CIS region (1.19%), Exports to regions; EU, South Asia, Asean, CIS, African and Middle East Countries have decreased 12.71%, 23.85%, 43.11%, 3.58 % and 29.35 % respectively in November 2020 compared with November 2019.
Export of Services
The services exports estimated by EDB which includes ICT/BPM, Construction, Financial services and Transport & Logistics show exports of US $ 2,862.6 Mn for the period of January to November 2020 compared to US$ 3,442.85 Mn recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year. However, estimated service exports declined by 16.85 % during the period of January to November 2020 compared with the corresponding period of previous year.
Revised Export Target & Achievement
The revised export target of the Export Development Board for 2020 is US$ 13.39 billion and of that we expect US$ 9.57 billion from merchandise exports and US$ 3.82 billion from services exports. During the period January to November 2020, earnings from exports recorded US$ 11.84 billion including the estimated services data for July to November and 88.47% achieved from the revised export target.
Further, earnings from Merchandise exports and services exports achieved 93.83% and 74.87% respectively during the period of January to October 2020.
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Author: Isma Izzath
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