Registering a year-on-year rise of six percent, Sri Lanka exported apparels worth US$ 537 million to the US during the first quarter of the current year, a report by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce noted.
However, Sri Lanka’s overall garment export earnings for the period dipped 4.3 percent year-on-year, mainly on account of waning demand from the European Union, which accounts for 50 percent of the island nation’s overall clothing exports, the report said.
Nearly 40 percent of Sri Lankan overall apparel exports are destined to the US. These exports are mainly classified in two categories - Harmonized System of Classification (HS), known as HS Chapter 61 and HS Chapter 62.
While HS Chapter 61 consists of apparel and clothing items and accessories - knitted or crocheted, HS Chapter 62 covers non-knitted or non-crocheted apparel and clothing items and accessories.
During the period under review, US imports under HS Chapter 61 declined by three percent year-on-year, while those under HS Chapter 62 plummeted by two percent y-o-y. However, Sri Lanka’s exports under HS Chapter 61 and HS Chapter 62 increased by six percent y-o-y and two percent y-o-y, respectively.
While most of the leading 15 apparel suppliers, including India and Pakistan, experienced a fall in export earnings from the US during January to September, Sri Lanka was one of the four countries that registered positive export growth alongside Vietnam, El Salvador and Jordan.
Apparel exports from India and Pakistan to the US fell by 18 percent y-o-y and 22 percent y-o-y, respectively, during the nine-month period.
Vietnam’s apparel exports to the US grew by eight percent y-o-y to US$ 3.1 billion during the review period.
China, however, continued to be the leading garment supplier to the US by exporting goods worth US$ 10.9 billion.