Sri Lanka’s textile and garment exports dropped nearly 30% in the first half of the year, contributing to an overall decline in exports for the country, new figures show, as it tried to push ahead through the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the January to June period, textile and garment exports dropped to US$1.94bn from $2.76bn a year earlier, reflecting a 29.6% decline. Garment exports, in particular, were down 32.5% to $1.73bn, while textile exports fell 23.2% to $105.9m.
The sector contributed to a 26.4% decline in the South Asian country’s total exports of $4.41bn for the six month period.
Earnings from textiles and garments contributed the most to a 17.5% year-on-year decline in merchandise exports for the month of June alone, despite an increase in earnings from personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks and protective suits.
The sector saw a drop of 23.6% in exports for the month of June to $1.07bn.
On the month earlier, however, earnings from merchandise exports rebounded sharply, recording $894m in June compared to $587m in May, led by textile and garment earnings. The gradual resumption of economic activities of the country, as well as the recovery of both domestic and global supply and demand chains, to some extent also contributed to the improvement.