Home » Sri Lanka Apparel sector exports hit an all time high in September.

Sri Lanka Apparel sector exports hit an all time high in September.

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Sri Lanka has set a target of US$6 billion for the apparel industry export revenue for the year 2022. With ten months months into 2022, biggest foreign exchange earner apparel exports in September soared to record high for the month though year on year growth was the lowest in six months reinforcing industry concerns expressed over the future outlook.

As per provisional data, apparel exports in September amounted to $ 451.46 million up by only 4.89 percent from the corresponding month of last year. However, the September 2022 figure is the highest for the month beating the previous best of $ 451 million in 2018.

The 5 percent year on year growth is also the lowest in six months reaffirming industry views that going forward market conditions for exports will be challenging.

Prior to September, apparel exports have grown year on year by a high of 39 percent (June) and a low of 19 percent (August). In March export growth was flat.

September 2020 performance is also the lowest in four months and ended the three-month streak of over half a billion exports between June and August.

Exports to the US in September were down by 4 percent to $ 186.27 million whilst shipments to the EU were up by 15.7 percent to $ 141.52 million. Exports to the UK were up 3.5 percent to $ 56.67 million and other markets up 13 percent to $ 67 million.

Apparel exports in the first nine months were an all-time high of $ 4.3 billion, up 18.4 percent year on year. The previous highest for the first nine months was $ 3.97 billion in 2019.

Exports to the US were up 22 percent to $ 1.82 billion, EU by 15.8 percent to $ 1.26 billion, UK by 14.8 percent to $ 572 million and other markets by 17 percent to 639.8 million.

Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) officials have said that despite impressive exports so far it asserted that in 2022 industry envisages a 25-30 percent decline in the remainder of the year.

This is because the economic downturn is impacting future orders from the US and EU whilst the war in Ukraine has pushed up logistics and energy costs. The US, EU and the UK comprise about 86 percent of Sri Lanka’s total apparel exports.

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