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Export performance in May improves across key sectors

Sri Lanka saw its export performance for the month of May improve, bringing the total earnings for the first five months of the year to cross the US $ 5 billion mark.
In May 2022, merchandise exports expanded by 9.9 percent year-on-year (YoY), fetching revenues amounting to US $ 980.2 million, which was led by improved earnings from apparel and textiles, coconut-based products and electrical and electronic components.
With the May 2022 performance, revenue from merchandise exports reached US $ 5.14 billion in total for the first five months of the year.
The statistics released by the Export Development Board (EDB) showed that major product sectors saw their earnings move towards a positive growth trajectory. However, falling behind last year’s performance were sectors such as tea, rubber and spices.
Apparel exports recorded the highest earnings, with revenue increasing by 30.1 percent to US $ 482.7 million.
Ceylon Tea emerged as the second largest revenue generator, bringing in an export income amounting to US $ 93.7 percent. Compared with the corresponding month of the previous year, the export growth contracted by 14.2 percent.

According to the EDB, the export of tea packets and bulk tea decreased by 9.75 percent and 18.83 percent in May 2022 compared to May 2021.
Rubber-based products brought to the forex-starved economy earnings amounting to US $ 76.7 million, which again is a 15.9 percent dip when compared with the May 2021 revenue. The EDB attributed the drop in performance to reduced exports of pneumatic and retreated rubber tyres and tubes (-5.41 percent). Among the top five performers are also coconut-based products, diamonds, gems and jewellery.
The coconut-based products saw export earnings grow by 5.8 percent, fetching revenue worth US $ 70 .6 million, whereas the gem and jewellery sector witnessed a revenue growth of 18.8 percent, fetching US $ 16.9 million.
Further, export earnings from seafood increased by 11.8 percent to US $ 16.8 million in May 2022 compared to May 2021. The expansion was contributed mainly by higher exports of fresh fish (4.9 percent) and shrimp (90.74 percent), the EDB said in a statement yesterday, announcing the May 2022 export performance.
Export earnings from ornamental fish jumped by 41.1 percent to US $ 1.3 million in May 2022 when compared with May 2021. With regard to electrical and electronics components, the growing segment, which recorded an 18.8 percent YoY growth, recorded earnings amounting to US $ 41.8 million. The EBD said the growth was due to strong performance in exports of insulated wires and cables (18.78 percent) and electrical transformers (16.5 percent).
Meanwhile, export earnings from the once flourishing spices and essential oils sector recorded revenue of about US $ 21.5 million, which is a 14.9 percent contraction from the corresponding month of the previous year. The EDB said the dampened progress was due to poor performance in oleoresins (-91.79 percent) and cloves (-49.61 percent).
However, despite the decline in the sector, earnings from cinnamon and pepper increased by 3.27 percent and 11.26 percent in May 2022 compared to May 2021, data from the EDB showed. The cumulative analysis for the first five months of the year ending in May shows merchandise exports increased by 9.7 percent to US $ 2.46 billion compared to the corresponding period of 2021. The growth was ushered in by high-performing sectors such as apparel and textiles, coconut-based products, electronics and electronic components, food and beverages, seafood and ornamental fish.
In terms of services exports, for the period of January to May 2022, revenue amounting to US $ 1.47 billion was generated. The performance is a 93.3 percent growth from the corresponding period of 2021. The services exports estimated by the EDB consist of ICT/BPM, construction, financial services and transport and logistics.