Rubber product exports increased due to higher earnings from tyre exports. In contrast, earnings from textiles and garment exports declined for the first time since June 2017. Notably, export of garments to the USA and non-traditional markets declined in April 2018 in comparison to April 2017, while exports to the EU market showed a marginal growth. Further, earnings from transport equipment declined in April 2018 mainly due to the base effect as April 2017 registered the export of a cargo vessel. The subdued performance in spices, minor agricultural products and coconut kernel products also contributed to the contraction in agricultural exports.
However, export earnings of all sub categories of sea food increased while earnings from tea exports increased marginally with higher volumes exported despite a decline in average export prices. Leading markets for merchandise exports of Sri Lanka, in April 2018, were the USA, the UK, India, Germany and Italy accounting for about 49 per cent of total exports.