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June external trade dips from May

Aug 29, 2011 4:11:56 PM - www.ft.lk

* First half trade deficit up 70% to $ 4.25 b

* Exports up 35% to $ 5.05 b; Imports by 46% to $ 9.3 b

The country’s external trade in June dipped in comparison to the previous month though year on year it showed strong growth.
Earnings from exports grew by 31.6% in June 2011 to $ 815.6 million, while expenditure on imports increased by 49.6% to $ 1.66 billion.

In May exports amounted to $ 832 million and imports were $ 1.76 billion, up by 34.3% and 67.9% over the corresponding month of last year.

As per Central Bank data released yesterday cumulative earnings from exports and expenditure on imports during the first half of 2011 increased by 35.2% to $5.05 billion and 46.5% to $9.3 billion, respectively. The trade deficit expanded by 70% to $4.25 billion.
Growth in export earnings in June 2011 was led by industrial exports, particularly textiles and garments and rubber products. Earnings from food, beverages and tobacco exports decreased reflecting lower exports of cocoa preparations and seafood. The average export prices of tea and rubber remained around $4.54 per kg and $5.04 per kg, respectively. Earnings from minor agricultural product exports increased by 26.0% to $34 million, mainly due to the higher prices. Increased earnings from mineral exports were led by higher exports of gems.
Increased domestic demand as well as higher prices of certain consumer and intermediate goods continued to drive import expenditure. Amongst the intermediate goods imports, expenditure on textiles and clothing imports made a significant contribution towards the growth in import expenditure in June 2011 due to increased volume as well as prices.
The average import price of crude oil increased by 43.9% to $111.21 per barrel in June 2011. With respect to the consumer imports, expenditure on food and beverages increased in June 2011 mainly due to the higher expenditure incurred on wheat and sugar. Expenditure on imports of non-food consumer goods also increased in June 2011, particularly, motor vehicles ($84 million). Expenditure on imports of investment goods increased by 66.0% year-on-year, owing to higher imports of machinery and equipment.

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