Export revenue down 42% in March 2020 with apparel losses

According to monthly exports statistics released today (29), merchandize export earnings have decreased by nearly 42% to US $ 646 Mn from US $ 1112 recorded in March 2019 (year-over-year).

Apparel sector being the largest contributor has shown a 41% decline during the month of March 2020 compared to the same month in the previous year. Some of the other sectors that have recorded a significant decline during the same period include Tea (-22%), Rubber Products (-15.7%), Coconut products (-14.2%), Spices (-36.5%), fruits & vegetable products (-17.4%), fish & fisheries products (-29%) etc.

However analysis at disaggregate level on Coconut Milk Powder, Defatted Coconut, certain Coconut Kernel Products, Coconut Shell Charcoal, Essential Oils, Oleoresins, Ginger, Lemons, Melons & Papayas, Onions, Sweat Potatoes, Processed Food, Rice, Green Gram, Lentils, Organic Chemicals, Electrical Transformers, Boat Building, Petroleum Products etc show a positive growth during March 2020 compared to March 2019.

Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe mentioned, “even though there is a decline in exports during the month of March 2020, such a decline is expected due to the global economic and trading environment. However the EDB is taking every effort to assist the exporters to resume operations and we firmly believe that exports will be back on track in the near future.”


January – March 2020

With the release of March 2020 data, the country’s foreign exchange earnings show an overall decline of 19 % during Jan-March 2020 in comparison to the same period in 2019 reaching US $ 3,382 Mn from US $ 4176 Mn respectively, recording a 32% achievement against the annual revised target of US$ 10750 mn for the year 2020.

Merchandise export earnings have recorded US$ 2,577 million during Jan- March 2020, compared to 3,116 million last year. Estimates in the services exports of ICT/ BPM, Construction, Financial services, Logistics and Wellness Tourism sectors show an overall revenue of US $ 805 million during the period compared to US $1060 million last year.

When looking at the disaggregate level of products, even though some of the major sectors show a decline in earnings, certain other sectors show a positive growth during the period under consideration. The following graph shows some sectors with negative growth.

Further, sectors that show a positive growth at disaggregate level includes export of  Latex Rubber, Sheet Rubber, Coconut Vinegar, Liquid Coconut Milk, Carpets, Mats, Floor Coverings of coconut fiber, Coconut Husk Chips, Coconut Shell Charcoal, Cardamoms, Ginger, Pineapples, Tamarind, Lemons, Onions, Sweat Potatoes, Areca Nuts, Rice & Cereals, Furniture & Seats, Gloves, Mitts & Mittens & Petroleum Products etc.…

Furthermore, products such as Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber, Copra, Coconut Cream, Coconut Water, Mattress Fiber, Essential Oils, Made-Up Textile Articles, Sugar, Sugar Confectionery & Bakery Products, Processed Vegetables, Fruits & Juices, Alcoholic Beverages, MDF & Fibre Boards, Soap, Washing Preparations, and Waxes etc. show a very marginal decline during this year.