According to the Ministry of Industry, the total value of industrial exports increased by an annual 6.15% to reach $856.6M by April 2018. In term of imports, the total value of imports of industrial machinery and equipment during the first four months of the year 2018 amounted $102.1M, recording a year-on-year (y-o-y) increase of 46.07% during the same period in 2017.
In April 2018, total industrial exports registered a yearly 8.27% rise, to stand at $227.8M. The main exported products were “products of the chemical industries” (constituting 21.38% of total exports) with a total of $48.7M, of which 35.74% were imported by Brazil. “Prepared foodstuffs and tobacco” (17.82% of total exports) came second, totaling $40.59M, of which 15.03% were imported by Saudi Arabia. However, it is worth mentioning that exports of prepared foodstuffs and tobacco witnessed a significant 7.73% y-o-y decrease in April 2018. In fact, the decrease came about as Lebanon’s exports of prepared foodstuffs and tobacco to the UAE and Iraq dropped from $2.86M and $2.80M to $1.84M and $2.21M, respectively.
“Machinery and electrical equipment” (15.54% of total exports) came in the third place, with Iraq importing 21.19% of this product. “Base metals and articles of base metal” (14.81% of total exports) followed, with a total value of $33.7M. In fact, this category showed a 42% annual increase in exports to $33.7M in April 2018. In details, exports of base metals and articles of base metal exported to Turkey went from $5.76M in April 2017 to $7.92M in April 2018 and as metal exports to Spain rose from $1.85M to $3.5M over the same period.
Overall, the primary importers of Lebanese industrial products in April 2018 were: the UAE, KSA, and Brazil with each grasping a stake of 10.17%, 8.49%, and 7.71% of total exports, respectively.
In terms of imports of industrial machinery and equipment, they climbed by a yearly 72.78%, to settle at $31.1M in April 2018. In details, “imports of machines for paper and cardboard industry” (21.22% of total imports), ranked first with a total value of $6.6M whereby Lebanon imported 95.45% from Italy alone. In their turn, imports of “machines used in packaging” took the second place, amounting to $4.1M, with 80.49% imported from Italy.
Main Industrial Exports in April 2017 and 2018
Source: Lebanese Ministry of Industry