Paper and essential oils are leading scorers of the record export earnings of the first half of 2011. Within paper products, exports of special printed material have shown a huge leap of 310%. Paper products are followed by coconut kernel, rubber and cinnamon in enhancing the $ 5.1 billion export revenue of first half of 2011, says the Export Development Board (EDB).
Issued by the Policy and Planning Division of the EDB (of the Ministry of Industry & Commerce) on 10 August, the report stresses that the exports, despite suffering in 2009, rebounded strongly in 2010. Sri Lanka’s exports in the first half of 2011 have registered 40.9% growth compared to 2010 totalling $ 5.1 billion.
Export revenue of paper products grew by 161% in the first half followed by essential oils (157%), coconut kernel products (88%), rubber products (82%) and cinnamon (81%). The growth trend has been witnessed across the board as leather (68%), wooden (54%), mineral (non metallic) (45%), textiles & garments (42%), natural rubber (39%) too reported revenue growth.
Despite the substantial fall of fresh coconut exports by 67%, export earnings from coconut kernel products increased significantly by 88%. Even tea, which domestic production showed an 11.5% drop in July 2011, has successfully contributed to 2011 first half’s 40.9% export growth by increasing its own contribution by 11.8%.
“Increased exports of waste paper (38% growth), stationery (10%), books and printed materials (35%), packaging (16%) and special printed materials (310%) contributed to the overall remarkable growth rate of 161% in earnings recorded by the paper product sector during this period” said EDB referring to paper products category. As for essential oils, “essential oil revenue grew significantly by 157% due to increased exports to USA (339%), Germany (105%), and France (179%) during this period” the EDB said.
Spice products showed an overall 32% export revenue growth. “Increased export of cinnamon (81%) which accounts for nearly 45% of total export earnings from spices mainly contributed to the overall positive growth rate of 32% by spice products. Export volume of cinnamon too grew by 44%. Despite decline of pepper export volume by 32%, earnings from pepper too increased by 16%. Nutmeg & mace earnings increased by 62%” EDB said.
As for coconut kernel products, the EDB said: “Export earnings from coconut kernel products increased significantly by 88% during this period mainly due to the increased exports of desiccated coconut which accounts for nearly 63% of all coconut kernel products. In addition, export of coconut milk powder (59%), liquid coconut milk (58%), the fatted coconut (180%) and coconut cream (81%) too increased during this period. Export of fresh coconuts dropped substantially by 67%. The government has imposed an exports cess of Rs. 30 per nut for fresh coconut to discourage exports in primary form.
As for coconut fibre and shell based products, the EDB said: “Increased exports of mixed coir fibre (20%), mattress fibre (11%), coco peat & fibre pith (25%), brooms and brushes (48%) and mats & floor carpets & coverings (26%) contributed to the positive growth rate of 24% achieved by the coconut fibre product sector.
As for rubber products, EDB said “earning from rubber products recorded an impressive growth rate of 82% due to increased exports of tires and tubes (95%), industrial and surgical gloves (48%), gaskets, washers and seals (92%), and vulcanised or unhardened rubber (66%) during the period under review.”