Sri Lanka - Foreign trade

Clothing and apparel is now the country's leading foreign exchange earner, accounting for over half of export receipts. Sri Lanka's traditional primary exports have been tea, natural rubber, and coconut products, especially desiccated coconut and coconut oil. However, the share of total export earnings accounted for by these three commodities declined steadily from 87% in 1972 to 48% in 1985 and 16% in 1999; tea decreased from its 58% share of total export value in 1972 to a low of8.2% in 1995. Declining export shares for the country's agriculturally based exports are due to adverse weather conditions in recent years as well as rapid growth in the export earnings of industrial products.

In 1999 garments accounted for 51% of Sri Lankan exports. Other commodity exports are tea (14%), diamonds and other precious gems (2.9%), and coconut products (1.7%). Sri Lanka produces a large portion of the world's tea exports (25%).

In 1999 Sri Lanka's imports were distributed among the following categories:

Sri Lanka

Consumer goods 7.9%
Food 13.4%
Fuels 5.8%
Industrial supplies 51.0%
Machinery 13.2%
Transportation 8.6%
Other 0.1%

Principal trading partners in 2000 (in millions of US dollars) were as follows:

Sri Lanka

United States 2,193 255 1,938
United Kingdom 737 311 426
Germany 230 157 73
Japan 230 646 -416
Belgium 156 161 -5
China (inc. Hong Kong) 69 767 -698
Singapore 61 496 -435
India 58 600 -542
Iran 33 203 -170
Korea 31 396 -365

User Contributions:

Ananda Moonasingha
Report this comment as inappropriate
May 9, 2012 @ 5:05 am
Very useful information I was looking for. I would be grateful if you could send the extended information of these data up to 2011 or nearest year.

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: