May 30, 2012 / 12:26 PM / in 5 years

TABLE-Sri Lanka March trade deficit jumps 22.5 pct

COLOMBO, May 30 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's March trade deficit
rose 22.5 percent year-on-year to $861.3 million, central bank
data showed on Wednesday.	
    The following table shows trade performance in March.	
    Trade performance in March 2012:	
                     March'12        March'11        Y/Y growth	
                     (in millions of dollars)       (in percent)	
Exports                835.7           930.8             (10.2)	
Imports              1,697.0         1,634.1               3.9  	
Balance of trade      (861.3)         (703.4)             22.5	
Surplus/(deficit)	
    	
                     Jan-Mar 2012    Jan-Mar 2011    Y/Y growth 	
                     (in millions of dollars)      (in percent)	
Exports              2,633.7         2,670.7          (1.4)	
Imports              5,192.6         4,437.9          17.0  	
Balance of trade    (2,558.9)       (1,767.2)         44.8	
Surplus/(deficit)	
    	
    - Gross official reserves edge up 3.8 percent to $5.73
billion by end-March from $5.52 billion the previous month, and
were sufficient to finance 3.3 months of imports.	
    - Sri Lanka recorded a peak trade deficit of $9.7 billion
last year, prompting the central bank to raise policy rates,
restricting credit growth, and allow flexibility in the exchange
rate by refraining from intervening in the
market. 	
    - Revenue from tourism jumped 28.8 percent year-on-year in
March to $93.8 million.	
    - The cost of oil imports rose 16.4 percent to $408.6
million in March year-on-year while it jumped 43.4 percent to
$1.43 billion in the first three months due to a rise in oil
prices.	
    - Exports of tea, Sri Lanka's main agricultural crop, fell
6.3 percent year-on-year in March to $123.4 million and it
recorded a 12.3 percent drop to $332.4 million in Jan-March.	
    - Revenue from garments and textiles, the island nation's
top exports, fell 11.7 percent to $319.4 million in March.	
    - Imports of consumer and intermediate goods fell 4.7
percent and 0.5 percent respectively, while investment goods
rose 28.7 percent in March compared to a year ago.	
    - Sri Lanka imported $334.4 million worth of consumer goods,
$966.1 million of intermediate goods and $395.3 million of
investment goods in March.	
    - Workers' remittances from abroad rose 9.2 percent to
$549.8 million in the month compared with a year ago.	
    - Foreign Direct investment in the first quarter was at $220
million compared with $197 million year ago.	
    - Net inflows to treasury bills and bonds increased to $406
million in the first quarter of 2012 compared with $79 million
same period last year.	
 ($1=132.40 Sri Lankan rupees)	
	
 (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Daniel
Magnowski)

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