Sri Lanka’s earnings from textiles and garments exports increased by 4.7 per cent year-on-year to $2.984 bn in the first seven months of 2018, according to the statistics recently released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Imports of textiles and textile articles were up 4.3 per cent to $1.610 bn, while clothing and accessories imports fell 14.3 per cent to $189.5 mn during the seven-month period.

In July 2018, Sri Lanka’s earnings from textiles and garment exports turned negative after being positive for a couple of months. The island nation earned $465.6 mn from textiles and clothing exports, registering a decline of 0.2 per cent over exports of $466.6 mn during the same month of 2017. “Export earnings from textiles and garments declined marginally in July 2018 due to the decline in demand from the US and non-traditional markets such as Canada, UAE and Australia and the base effect which reflected significantly high export earnings in July 2017,” the Central Bank said in its report ‘External Sector Performance – July 2018’.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s expenditure on textiles and textile articles increased in July 2018, “Due to higher expenses on yarn and fabric imports.” Textiles and textile articles imports increased 5.3 per cent to $249.6 mn during the month, whereas clothing and accessories imports jumped 9.2 per cent to $24.4 mn.

In 2017, Sri Lanka earned $5.031 bn in textiles and apparel exports, registering a growth of 3 per cent year-on-year. Of this, clothing exports alone accounted for $4.739 bn. On the other hand, imports increased by 0.7 per cent to $2.724 bn.