Friday, 22 May 2020 12:42

Sri Lanka’s exports expect to down by hefty 42% to $10.75 billion

Considering the unprecedented disruption to the global economy and trade due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Export Development Board has revised its 2020 exports forecast by a hefty 42% to $10.75 billion. EDB Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe said.

Originally the EDB set a target of $18.5 billion for 2020, up from $ 16.14 billion achieved in 2019., he added.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on Sri Lankan exports, according to data released by the EDB total outflow of goods had declined more than 64 per cent during April this year.

Sri Lanka managed to export only US$ 277.4 million worth of goods in April this year, down 64.09 per cent compared to US$ 772.57 million a year earlier

“Given the current global situation we have decided to revise down the export forecast for the year to $10.75 billion” Mr Subasinghe said.

This will mean a drop in our export earnings of about $ 7.75 billion compared to 2020 original forecast and also $ 5.39 billion from the actual exports of last year,” he revealed.
As per the revised target EDB forecasts $ 7.53 billion in merchandise exports and $ 3.21 billion from service exports in 2020.

The Chairman noted that the new estimate was arrived at after considering several aspects of supply and demand, as the COVID-19 pandemic affects both sides.

However, despite the revised forecast, Mr Subasinghe expressed confidence that the export sector would be the first to recover as tourism and worker remittances would take time to bounce back.

He said tea, rubber (surgical gloves, tyres), coconut, spices, food and beverage, seafood

Major export sectors such as apparel, rubber-based products (except industrial, surgical gloves and Agri tyres), diamonds, gems and jewellery, electronic and electrical components, ornamental fish, and boat building sectors would perform marginally or poorly.

“The Government has categorically identified agriculture, rubber, seafood and coconut as essential services,” he added.

(LIN)

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