Lebanon’s Trade Deficit Widened by an Annual 1.83% by November 2017

According to the Lebanese Customs, Lebanon’s trade deficit rose by 1.83% year-on-year (y-o-y) to stand at $14.71B by Nov. 2017, as exports shrank by an annual 4.82% to stand at $2.6B, while imports marginally grew by 0.77% y-o-y to reach $17.31B.

In terms of imports, and despite the recovering oil prices, the value of total imported “mineral products” (constituting 26.85% of the total value of imports by Nov. 2017) fell by an annual 3.14% to stand at $3.38B, on the back of a decline in volume from 8.2M tons by Nov. 2016 to 8.01M tons in the same period of 2017. Moreover, “products of the chemical or allied industries” (15.39% of total imports’ value), rose by a yearly 3.96% to $1.94B. As for “machinery and electrical instruments”, they grasped a share of 14.06% of the total value of imports and increased by 3.01% y-o-y to $1.77B by Nov. 2017.     

By November 2017, Lebanon had mainly imported from: China, Italy, and Greece with respective shares of 9.93%, 9.39%, and 7.26% of the total value of imported goods, followed by: Germany and the USA, which grasped a share of 6.49% and 6.06%, respectively.

As for exports, “pearls, precious stones and metals” products, grasping the largest share of exported goods (20.6%), plunged by 31.51% by November 2017, to $534.6M. As for “prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco”, they constituted 16.09% of the exported goods’ value and grew by 3.14% y-o-y, totaling $417.6M by Nov. 2017. Moreover, “Base metals and articles of base metal”, which take up to 11.74% of the total exports, rose from $224.7M by Nov. 2016 to $304.7M by Nov. 2017.

The top export destinations over the same period were South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, with respective shares of 11.28%, and 8.82% and 8.38%.

Trade Deficit by November (in $B)

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Source: Lebanese Customs

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