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Sri Lanka’s trade deficit widens in February 2020

According to the latest external trade data released by the Central Bank, country’s trade deficit widened in February 2020 compared to February 2019, as expenditure on imports increased at a faster pace than the increase in earnings from exports.
The deficit in the trade account widened in February 2020 to US dollars 574 million, from US dollars 451 million in February 2019, as the increase in imports surpassed the increase in exports.

However, on a month on month basis, the trade deficit in February 2020 recorded a contraction. On a cumulative basis, the trade deficit widened to US dollars 1,304 million during the first two months of 2020 compared to
US dollars 1,069 million in the corresponding period of 2019.

Meanwhile, terms of trade, i.e., the ratio of the price of exports to the price of imports, deteriorated by 3.5 per cent (year on year) in February 2020, as export prices declined at a faster pace than the decline in import prices.


Earnings from merchandise exports increased in February 2020 for the first time since June 2019 by 0.7 per cent to US dollars 988 million, year-on-year, led by the increase in industrial exports though agricultural and mineral exports declined in comparison to February 2019.