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About us

Eastern Merchants PLC

We are one of the leading commodity trading houses in Sri Lanka. While our primary export is natural rubber we are also involved in the trade and export of Ceylon cinnamon, coconut fibre, desiccated coconut, fresh fruit and vegetables. We also trade in industrial raw materials for the rubber goods manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka. Eastern Merchants caters to a broad international market spanning the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.


Eastern Merchants PLC was founded in 1945 through the endeavors of two brothers, Sumane and Winton Karunaratne, with an initial working capital of USD 50 accompanied by an incredible will to succeed. The first modest office of this export business was located in Fort, within the Central Business District of Colombo. Their primary export was cinnamon bark oil, a commodity that was traditionally traded by their father and grandfather. From its humble beginnings, Eastern Merchants has now developed into a major trading house. The level of integrity and dedication that the founders instilled is the standard of excellence that is still maintained by its employees today. The aspirations and ambitions of the founders have been realized through the Company’s growing success, and in 1981, Eastern Merchants became a Public Quoted Company trading on the Colombo Stock Exchange.
Winton Karunaratne
Sumane Karunaratne

Our Journey

Over the past 75 years, Eastern Merchants has evolved into a multi-origin commodity trading house with interests in the manufacture of value added rubber.








Founding of Eastern Merchants

Eastern Merchants becomes a public quoted Company by listing on the Colombo Brokers Association, before the establishment of the Colombo Stock Exchange in 1985

Eastern Merchants relocates its logistics operation to a 75,000 SQFT purpose built warehouse complex at Sapugaskanda

The addition of a purpose built Cinnamon processing centre in the heart of Sri Lanka's Cinnamon plantations helps Eastern Merchants become the number one exporter of Cinnamon from Sri Lanka

Eastern Merchants becomes the largest exporter of natural rubber from Sri Lanka and expands its focus to trading natural rubber from offshore origins

Founding of Eastern Merchants Commodities Pte. Ltd. in Singapore to facilitate and enhance the company's offshore trading capabilities

Eastern Merchants expands into the value added rubber products space via the acquisition of Microcells (Pvt) Ltd.

Core Values

The core values of any organisation are part of its DNA and are the essence of the Company’s identity. At Eastern Merchants, the core values imparted by the founders at inception are still very much alive and define what we stand for.


Conducting business dealings with the utmost integrity is a founding principle of the business and is a source of great pride for us. Keeping to our word, taking responsibility for our actions and holding fast to our moral code is important to us. We comply with all laws and regulations and conduct business in an ethical, honest and fair manner.


Our business relationships are based on mutual trust and are of great value to us. Customer satisfaction is paramount and to this extent we take full responsibility for all our dealings and provide solutions to problems in an equitable and reasonable manner. We always honour our business obligations and fulfill our commitments.


Our business prides itself on providing goods and services of the highest quality. This mantra has been the cornerstone for the success of our business and sound reputation. We strive towards excellence and we are constantly looking at ways of serving our partners better by adhering to the best available practices and challenging ourselves to improve.


We truly believe in the fact that we are stronger and more effective as a team than as individuals. Working together with our colleagues and clients we strive to find the best possible solutions to achieve the best results. We work on trust, respect and mutual support.