Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports decreased by 14.6 % to US$ 898.0 Million in October 2023 compared to October 2022 as per the provisional data released by the Sri Lanka Customs. Also, it is a 13.13 % decrease when compared to the value recorded in September 2023.

The decline in merchandise exports is due to decreased demand for export products, particularly in sectors such as Apparel & Textiles, Rubber & Rubber-based products, and Coconut & Coconut-based products.

The Figure 1 shows the comparison of Monthly Merchandise Export Performance 2020 – Oct 2023.

Major Exports in October 2023

  1. Products & Services with Positive Growth (Increases)

Export earnings from Food & Beverages have increased by 20.77 % y-o-y to US$ 36.86 Million in October 2023, with the strong performance in exports of Processed Food (29.49 %).

Export earnings from Seafood increased by 3.73 % to US$ 20.29 Mn in October 2023 compared to October 2022. This increase was mainly due to the strong performance in export of Frozen fish (5.21 %) and Fresh fish (13.78 %).

Moreover, export earnings from Ornamental fish increased by 35.71 % to US$ 2.47 Mn in October 2023 compared to October 2022.

Furthermore, the estimated value of ICT exports is expected to increase by 96 % to US$ 166.01 Mn in October 2023 when compared to October 2022. Also, the value of Transport & Logistics services exports is expected to increase by 54.73 % in October 2023 compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

  • Products & Services with Negative Growth (Decreases)

Export earnings from Apparel & Textile have decreased by 20.05 % y-o-y to US$ 353.3 Million in October 2023 compared to October 2022.

Export earnings from tea which made up 12% of merchandise exports, decreased by 12.02 % y-o-y to US$ 95.63 Mn in October 2023 compared to October 2022. This decline is mainly due to the negative performance in the export of Bulk tea, which decreased by 18.81% to reach US$ 43.35 Mn in October 2023.

In addition, Export earnings from Rubber and Rubber Finished products have decreased by 7.66 % y-o-y to US$ 79.7 Mn in October 2023, with the strong performance in exports of Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber (19.32 %).

On monthly analysis, export earnings of Coconut based products decreased by 17.57 % in October 2023 compared to October 2022. Moreover, export earnings of Coconut fiber products and Coconut shell products decreased by 42.67 % and 25.35 % respectively in October 2023 compared to October 2022.

Earnings from Activated Carbon, which is categorized under the Coconut shell products decreased by 25.49 % to US$ 11.11 Mn in October 2023 compared to October 2022.

In addition, export earnings from the Electrical & Electronics Components decreased by 18.74 % y-o-y to US$ 37.59 Mn in October 2023 with poor performance in exports of Electrical Transformers (-48.02 %).

Export earnings from Spices and Essential Oils decreased by 10.14 % to US$ 32.7 Mn in the month of October 2023 compared to month of October 2022. This decrease was primarily driven by a significant decrease in the export of Cinnamon 12.02 %.