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Sri Lanka’s exports continue to fall as tea tumbles by 20%

Sri Lanka’s exports fell for the seventh successive month in September 2015, with tea export earnings slumping 20.4%, according to the latest figures released by the Central Bank.

Exports fell by 5.9% to US$ 850 million in September 2015, a decline that has continued since March 2015. Industrial exports were the hardest hit, falling by 4.7%, with lower shipments of rubber products, gems, diamonds and jewellery, machinery and mechanical appliances and printing industry products reported.

Tea exports fell in particular, a 20.4% in September of this year compared to the same month in 2014, according to official data. The Sri Lankan government plans to artificially raise the price of tea by purchasing from the tea auction, in an attempt to stabilise the market, said Lanka Business Online.

However the move has been decried by analysts who state that it will only serve to make Sri Lankan tea less competitive in an increasingly over supplied global market.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s trade deficit also grew on a cumulative basis, increasing by 3.8 % to US$ 6.145 billion, the Central Bank said.

See more from LBO here and Economy Next here. See the full ‘External Sector Performance for the month of September 2015’ released by the Central Bank here.