On a cumulative basis, export earnings recorded the historically highest value of US dollars 11.4 billion in 2017 mainly due to the notable increase in tea, textiles and garments, and petroleum products exports, CB said.
Increased performance in industrial exports supported by textiles and garments largely contributed to this growth, CB officials added.
Following the restoration of the GSP+ facility in May 2017,earnings from garment exports to the EU increased by 27.2 percent (year-on-year), while garment exports to the USA and other non-traditional markets increased by 18.0 percent and 14.1 per cent, respectively, during December 2017.
Further, due to the combined effect of higher volumes and prices of bunker and aviation fuel, exports earnings of petroleum products increased significantly in December 2017.Further, earnings from rubber products increased during the month mainly due to the export of tyres.
In addition, export earnings from food, beverages and tobacco increased considerably in December 2017 owing to higher earnings from exports of vegetable, fruit and nuts preparations.
Meanwhile, with the increase in the average export prices and volumes, earnings from tea increased in December 2017 favourably impacting agricultural exports. Earnings from seafood and minor agricultural products, particularly fruits and betel leaves also contributed towards the enhanced export earnings.
The leading markets for merchandise exports of Sri Lanka during 2017 were the USA (25.6 per cent), the UK (9.1 per cent), India (6.1 per cent), Germany (4.7 per cent) and Italy (4.7 per cent) accounting for about 50 per cent of total exports.