Lanka’s exports surpass US$ 1 bn for the third time

Lanka’s exports surpass US$ 1 bn for the third time

Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports have surpassed the $ 1 billion mark in September after July during this year.

Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe (Pictured) said they were pleased to see US$ 1 billion of exports in September. “It is the third time this year we have seen a year on year increase of merchandise exports. However, we are concerned about the recent escalation of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka but hopeful of a swift recovery and a stable level of business continuity.”


As per the Customs statistics, earnings from merchandise exports recorded a positive growth of 5.16% in September 2020 to US$ 1,001.27 million as compared to the value of US$ 952.1 million recorded in September 2019.

This strong performance is consistent with the gradual lifting of restrictions due to Covid 19 pandemic within the country and globally. Increases in exports were recorded as; Europe Region (20.19%), CIS Countries (19.59%) and African Region (56.4%) in September 2020.

Export earnings from Apparel & Textiles declined by 3.75 % to US$ 431.87 Mn during September 2020.

Export earnings from tea in September 2020 which made up 12% of merchandise exports increased by 3.3 % y-o-y to US$ 113.99 million but the export volume decreased by 2.82 % in September 2020.

In addition, export earnings from rubber and rubber finished products have increased by 10.54 % y-o-y to US$ 80.01 million in September 2020. Earnings from all the major categories of Coconut based products increased in September 2020. Export earnings from spices and essential oils have increased significantly by 24.14% to US$ 38.93 million in September compared with the value of US$ 31.36 million recorded in September 2019. Meanwhile, earnings from export of electrical and electronic components (EEC) increased by 13.42% to US$ 37.01 million in September 2020.

Total merchandise export earnings for January to September 2020 was US$ 7,401.48 million compared to US $ 8,872.57 million recorded in a similar period of the previous year – a decline of 16.58 %.

Major exports such as apparel & textiles (US$ 3,273.9 million), tea (US$ 919.56 million), rubber and rubber based products (US$ 586.58 million) and spices and essential oils recorded decrease of 21.54%, 10.32%, 14.01% and 0.4% respectively during January - September 2020.

Earnings from export of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) related products increased by 42.91% to US$ 636.67 million in January to September 2020. The top five export destinations during the period January-September 2020 were United States of America (US$ 1,892.14 million), United Kingdom (US$ 664.21 million) India (US$ 453.67 million ), Germany (US$ 430.0 million) and Italy (US$ 330.24 million) absorbed over 50% of exports recorded in the period.

The services exports estimated by EDB which includes ICT/BPM, Construction, Financial services and Transport & Logistics show exports of US $ 2,291.8 million for the period of January to September.