According to the Lebanese Customs, Lebanon’s trade deficit slipped by a marginal 0.22% year-on-year (y-o-y) to stand at $13.21B by October 2017, as exports shrank by a yearly 4.56% to $2.37B, while imports incrementally narrowed by 0.91% y-o-y to $15.58B.
On the imports’ side, the value of total imported “mineral products” (constituting 23.44% of the total value of imports by Oct. 2017) declined by an annual 11.03% to stand at $2.95B, on the back of a drop in volume from 7.7M tons by October 2016 to 7.11M tons, in the same period this year. Moreover, “products of the chemical or allied industries” (13.9% of total imports’ value), increased by a yearly 2.97% to $1.75B. As for “machinery and electrical instruments”, they grasped a share of 12.78% of the total value of imports and increased by 4.13% y-o-y to $1.61B by October 2017.
The top countries Lebanon imported from during the first ten months of the year were: China and Italy with respective shares of 10% and 9%, followed by, Greece and Germany, each with a share of 7%.
As for exports, “pearls, precious stones and metals” products, grasping the largest share of exported goods (20.68%), plunged by 32.51% by October 2017, to $489.5M despite an increase in volumes exported from 46 tons by Oct. 2016 to 76 tons by Oct. 2017. As for “prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco”, they constituted 16.06% of the exported goods’ value and they went up by 4.03% y-o-y to $380.16M by Oct. 2017. Moreover, “Base metals and articles of base metal”, which take up to 11.65% of the total exports, rose from $198.17M by Oct. 2016 to $275.75M by Oct.2017.
The top export destinations for the same period were South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, with respective shares of 12%, and 8 % for the last two Gulf states.
Trade Deficit by October (in $B)
Source: Lebanese Customs