Sri Lanka's trade deficit decreased to USD 701 million in December 2018 from USD 1029 million in the corresponding month of the previous year. Exports rose 1.4 percent to USD 1033 million, boosted by shipments of industrial products (2.1%) namely textiles and garments (5%) primarily to the US and the EU; rubber product (2.4%); and machinery and mechanical appliances (10.6%). In contrast, sales of agricultural goods went down 1.4%, mostly spices (-8.2%); rubber (-41.9%) and minor agricultural products (-11.9%). Imports fell 15.3% to USD 1735 million, amid declines in purchases of intermediate (-17.6%), capital (-5.9%) and consumer goods (-17.7%), reflecting the impact of restrictions on personal vehicles and telecommunication devices imports. Balance of Trade in Sri Lanka averaged -521.44 USD Million from 2003 until 2018, reaching an all time high of -50.10 USD Million in May of 2003 and a record low of -1100.70 USD Million in November of 2011.
Balance of Trade in Sri Lanka is expected to be -920.00 USD Million by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in Sri Lanka to stand at -680.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Sri Lanka Balance of Trade is projected to trend around -820.00 USD Million in 2020, according to our econometric models.