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Sri Lankan shares ended lower for a seventh straight session on Wednesday, weighed down by industrial shares, with the island nation on the verge of a food shortage.

The CSE All-Share index closed down 0.54% at 8,064.69.

Sri Lanka wants farmers to plant more rice as part of plans to avert a severe food shortage, a top official said on Tuesday, as experts warned of a 50% drop in production that would worsen the impact of its already severe financial crisis.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund said it was in talks with Sri Lanka’s authorities on a package that would restore economic stability and debt sustainability.

Sri Lanka, an island nation of 22 million people, is reeling under its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, with a severe shortage of foreign exchange curtailing imports, including essentials such as fuel and medicines.

The equity market turnover was 1.21 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($3.42 million).

Sri Lanka shares end lower as financials weigh

Trading volume fell to 77.27 million shares from 105.3 million shares in the previous session.

Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing shares worth 92.7 million rupees, while domestic investors were net sellers with 1.14 billion rupees worth of shares sold, according to exchange data.

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