According to the Sri Lanka Customs provisional statistics, merchandise exports for the month of May 2020 has bounced back to US$ 602 million, compared to the previous month of April which was only US$ 277 million, the Export Development Board (EDB) reported.

With the May Export Performance, Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe expressed delight to see such a strong recovery from April to May and appreciated the export businesses for engaging with the EDB to make May exports a phenomenal success. “I also believe this positive trend will continue over the next few months,” the Chairman added.

The increase of US$ 325 million is a positive signal that Sri Lanka is in the path of recovery faster than anticipated. However, the exports are behind US$ 355 million compared to US$ 957 million recorded in May 2019, the Chairman noted.

Almost all the export sectors fared well in the month of May in comparison to the last month. Two main export sectors namely tea (US$ 108 million) and Apparel (US$ 219 million) recorded over hundred million, while other significant export sectors during May were Rubber & Rubber Finished Products (US$ 51million) and Coconut Products (US$ 52 million). Other important sectors such as Spices and Essential Oil (US $ 19 million), Food and Beverages (US$ 24 million) and Fisheries Products (US$ 12 million) show a moderate increase in the month of May compared to previous month.

Exports of Rubber Gloves (Industrial & Surgical), Liquid Coconut Milk, Made-Up Textile Articles, Areca Nuts, Coconut Cream, Lentils, Rice, Cereals, Oil Seed, show a positive growth during May 2020 compared to May 2019.

On y-o-y monthly analysis, Apparel exports recorded a decline (-48.23%) during the month of May 2020 compared to the same month in the previous year. Other selected sectors that has recorded a significant decline during the same period includes; Tea (-13.75%), Coconut products (-8.71%), Rubber Products (-35.70%), Food & Beverages (-21.76%), Spices (-15.80%), Electronics & Electronic Components (-41.35%), Petroleum Products (-11.69%) and Seafood (-39.29%).

Total export earning for January to May 2020 was US$ 3.456 billion compared to US $ 4.845 billion recorded in a similar period of the previous year – a decline of 28.7%. This is a 32% achievement of Revised Merchandise Export Target of US$ 10.75 billion in 2020.

The main export sectors namely Apparel (US$ 1.535 billion), Tea (US$ 457million) and Coconut & Coconut Based Products (US$ 216 million) and Rubber & Rubber based products (US$ 280 million) recorded decrease of 32%, 20%, 16% and 25% respectively during Jan-May 2020 compared to the similar period of previous year. The only sector that recorded a growth during the period was Petroleum products.

The export sectors that shows a positive growth at disaggregate level includes export of Onions, Areca Nuts, Tamarind, Garlic, Sweat Potatoes and Lentils etc.

Exports of Gloves, Mitts & Mittens, Coconut Ekels, Sugars, Sugar Confectionery & Bakery Products, Mattress Fiber, Industrial & Surgical Gloves of Rubber, Betel Leaves show a very marginal decline during the period under review.

The top export destinations during the period under review were United States of America (US$ 905 million), United Kingdom (US$ 296million) India (US$ 221 million), Germany (US$ 196 million) and Italy (US$ 136 million).