Sri Lankan apparel exports declined by 11.3 percent to $822.4 million in the first two months of the current year compared to exports of $927.5 million in the corresponding period of the last year. According to the data released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, textiles and apparel accounted for about 61.95 percent of all industrial exports made by the South Asian nation during the two-month period.
In fact, the fall in export value has been higher in February compared to January. Export earnings from textiles and garments contracted by 14.5 percent to $396 million in February 2017 reflecting a significant decline in garment exports to the EU and the US, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said in its report on â€˜External Sector Performance â€“ February 2017â€™.
Clothing exports accounted for $776.2 million in January-February 2017, showing a decrease of 11.6 per cent year-on-year.
According to Sri Lanka Apparel Exportersâ€™ Association (SLAEA), apparel exports from the country for February fell 14.97 per cent YoY to US $ 377 million, with US $ 170 million or a 8.81 per cent YoY decline in exports to the US, while exports to the European Union (EU) fell 23.57 per cent YoY to US $ 155 million. Exports to other markets fell 3.97 per cent YoY to US $ 52 million.
Sri Lankaâ€™s expenditure on imports of textiles and textile articles also decreased 7.6 per cent to $439.6 million in January-February 2017, as against imports valued at $475.9 million in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The fall in imports was higher in February. â€œImport of textiles and textile articles, declined by 17.1 percent in February 2017 in line with the decline in textiles and garments exports,â€ the central bank said.
The island nation earned $4.884 billion in textiles and apparel exports in 2016, registering a growth of mere 1.3 per cent year-on-year. Of this, clothing exports alone accounted for $4.602 billion, up 1 percent over previous yearâ€™s earnings of $4.555 billion.
The Index of Industrial Production maintained by the Census and Statistics Department has also noted decline in Year-on-year (YoY) growth for apparel manufacturing during January and February.
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