Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports have surpassed the USD 1 billion mark in September, the Export Development Board (EDB) said.

EDB Chairman Prabhash Subhasinghe noted that this was the 3rd time this year the country has seen a year on year increase of merchandise exports.

As per the Customs statistics, earnings from merchandise exports recorded a positive growth of 5.16% in September 2020 to USD 1,001.27 million as compared to the value of USD 952.1 million recorded in September 2019.

This strong performance is consistent with the gradual lifting of restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic within the country and globally.

Increases in exports were recorded as follows: Europe Region (20.19%), CIS Countries (19.59%) and African Region (56.4%) in September 2020 compared to September 2019.

Moreover, earnings from merchandise exports in September 2020 increased by 5.65% compared with the value recorded in August 2020.

Export earnings from apparel and textiles declined by 3.75% to USD 431.87 million during the month of September 2020 compared with USD 448.68 million recorded in September 2019.

Export earnings from tea in September 2020 which made up 12% of merchandise exports increased by 3.3 % y-o-y to USD 113.99 million but the export volume was decreased by 2.82% in September 2020 compared to September 2019.

In addition, export earnings from tea recorded 10.7% increase in September 2020 in comparison to August 2020. The expansion was mainly due to the higher demand for tea from Turkey, Russia and Chile.

In addition, Export earnings from rubber and rubber finished products have increased by 10.54% y-o-y to USD 80.01 million in September 2020.

Export earnings from spices and essential oils have increased significantly by 24.14% to USD 38.93 million in September 2020 compared with the value of USD 31.36 million recorded in September 2019 with a significant increase in the export of cinnamon (50.06%).