Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports decreased by 8.98 % to US$ 1,001.9 Million in January 2023 compared to January 2022 as per the data released by the Sri Lanka Customs. However, it is a 6.97% increase when compared to January 2021.
Major Exports in January 2023
Values in US$ Mns
Export earnings from tea in January 2023 which made up 12% of merchandise exports, increased by 9.14% y-o-y to US$ 99.56 Mn. All sub categories under Tea sector; Tea packets (8.1%), Bulk Tea (7.18%), Tea Bags (18.31%) and Instant Tea (67.38%) recorded increases in January 2023 compared to January 2022.
In addition, export earnings from the Electrical & Electronics Components increased by 6.44% y-o-y to US$ 38.18 Mn in January 2023 with strong performance in exports of Other Electrical & Electronic Products (16.06%).
However, export earnings from Apparel & Textile have decreased by 17.74 % y-o-y to $ 423.13 million in January 2022 with poor performance in exports of Apparel (-18.79%) and Textiles (-3.58%). On a year-on-year basis, sub categories under the Apparel exports declined in January 2023 in comparison to January 2022. Despite export of Yarn and other textile articles under Textile category have recorded increases 30.41% and 35.69% respectively.
Also, export earnings from Rubber and Rubber Finished products have decreased by 12.89 % y-o-y to US$ 75.89 million in January 2022, with negative performance in exports of Pneumatic & Retreated Rubber Tyres & Tubes (-4.21%) and Industrial & surgical gloves (-26.78%).
On monthly analysis, export earnings of kernel products, fiber products and shell products categorized under the Coconut based decreased by 32.38%, 28.67% and 24.34% respectively in January 2023 compared to January 2022.
Year-on- year, export earnings from Coconut Oil, Desiccated Coconut, Coconut Milk powder, Coconut cream and Liquid Coconut Milk categorized under the Coconut Kernel Products decreased by 30.76%, 46.51%, 44.86%, 45.55% and 27.57% respectively in January 2023.
Being the largest contributor to Coconut based sector, Coco Peat, Fiber Pith & Moulded products which are categorized under the Coconut fibre products, decreased by 30.58% to US$ 10.49 Mn in January 2023 in comparison to January 2022. Earnings from Activated Carbon, which is categorised under the Coconut shell products decreased by 20.39% to US$ 8.94 Mn in January 2023 compared to January 2022.
Export earnings from Seafood decreased by 13.15% to US$ 20.94 Mn in January 2023 compared to January 2022. This decrease was mainly due to the decline in earnings from export of Frozen fish (-10.53%) and Shrimps (-49.57%).
However, export earnings from Ornamental fish increased by 23.6% to US$ 2.2 Mn in January 2023 compared to January 2022.
Export earnings from Spices and Essential Oils decreased by 1.43% to US$ 34.48 Mn in the month of January 2023 compared to month of January 2022 due to the poor performance in Cinnamon (-23.61%) and Pepper (-57.11%). Despite the decline in the sector, earnings from Cloves & Essential Oils increased by 885.32% and 19.51% respectively in January 2023 compared to January 2022.
Table 1: Merchandise Export Performance
Sri Lanka’s Export Performance in Major Markets
Except the UAE, other markets out of top 15 export markets were recorded negative performance in January 2023.
During the month of January 2023, exports to United States of America, Sri Lanka’s single largest export destination, decreased by 13.71 % to US$ 254.78 Mn compared to the month of January 2022.
Exports to United Kingdom as the second largest trading partner declined by 4.61 % to US$ 77.42 Mn in January 2023 compared to January 2022.
The better performance of United Arab Emirates led by increase in exports of Petroleum oils in January 2023 compared to January 2022.
Table 2: Top 15 Export Destinations
Values in US$ Mns
Exports to FTA Partners
During the month of January 2022, exports to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners accounted for 7.2% of total merchandise exports decreased by 7.2 % to US$ 74.52 Mn.
Moreover, Exports to India and Pakistan decreased by 2.98% and 42.49% y-o-y to US$ 69.58 Mn and US$ 4.94 Mn respectively during the month of January 2023 compared to January 2022. Decreased Exports to India is mainly led by decreased exports of Pepper (-62.86%) due to the import ban imposed by India.
In addition, poor performance recorded in Pakistan led by Articles of Stones, Textiles & Coconut kernel products.
Sri Lanka’s Export Performance in Regions
Following table shows the comparison of region wise exports during the month of January 2023 compared to January 2022.
Table 3: Export Regions
Values in US$ Mns
Exports to the European Union (EU) which comprised 20% of Sri Lanka’s exports during the month of January 2023 decreased by 18.04 % y-o-y to US$ 202.23 Mn.
Breakdown of exports to the top five EU markets which accounted for 80% of Sri Lanka’s total exports to the EU were; Germany US$ 48.12 Mn (decreased by 20.07%), Italy US$ 46.21 Mn (decreased by 7.0%), Netherlands US$ 26.55 Mn (decreased by 31.36 %), Belgium US$ 19.57 Mn (decreased by 21.03%) and France US$ 17.89 Mn. (decreased by 23.9%).