Friday, April 9, 2010

Sri Lanka - Agri sector performs well in January 2010

The agricultural sector performed well during January 2010, according to a press release issued by the Central Bank. Tea, rubber and minor agricultural exports had showed increased export earnings. “Year-on-year, export volumes of both, tea and rubber rose by 18.5 per cent and 32.6 per cent, supported by significant increases in export prices, to US dollars 4.32 per kg and US dollars 2.79 per kg, respectively, from December 2009,” the Central Bank said.

Among the minor agricultural exports commodities such as cashew nuts and spices (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and mace) had shown improvements over the past year.

Remittances from Sri Lankan migrant workers also increased during January 2010.

According to the Central Bank, “In January 2010, US dollars 289.8 million was received from Sri Lankan migrant workers, recording a growth of 12.3 per cent over January 2009.

The trade deficit, however, expanded to US dollars 689 million, compared to that of January 2009.

This was due to a 3.9 percent marginal fall of export earnings to US $ 472 million from US $ 491.1 million in January 2009.

A rise in import expenditure from US $ 682.6 million in January 2009 to US $ 1,160.9 in January 2010 is also attributed for this situation. The rise of prices of import goods and the decrease in industrial exports due to the global recession were the causes of the increase in the trade deficit.

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