Fuel shortage in Sri Lanka adds to woes for garment exporters

Sri Lanka’s energy minister Kanchana Wijesekera has issued a warning over the country’s fuel stocks according to a report published by the BBCclaiming that there is only enough gas left for less than a day if there is regular demand, with the next shipment not expected for another two weeks.

Wijesekera reportedly told the media that the country still has 12,774 tons of diesel and 4,061 tons of gasoline in its reserves.

He added that the central bank could only provide $125 million for fuel purchases, far less than the $587 million needed for its planned shipments, according to the report, which added that the country owed $800 million to seven suppliers for purchases he made earlier this year.

A spokesperson for Sri Lanka’s Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) acknowledged to Just Style in an exclusive comment that the fuel shortage was “very concerning” and said apparel exporters are “managing day-to-day operations to meet the Production time “.

“Currently, several plants have sufficient fuel stocks to meet ongoing production needs,” the spokesperson added.

Sri Lanka is currently in the grip of its worst economic crisis in 70 years and last month the JAAF warned that export earnings in the garment sector for the June-August period are set to fall by 20-25% and that it is likely to miss the $6 billion export target. for the year.

JAAF general secretary Yohan Lawrence said a loss of buyer confidence in the industry due to “political instability” is a real risk.

With apparel accounting for an average of 40% of Sri Lanka’s total export earnings, there is an urgent need to maintain buyers’ confidence in the industry, he said, adding that “the perceived threat to the sector” has been very detrimental.

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Michael O. Stutler