Lebanon’s trade deficit widened by 3.93% year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach $12.96B by September 2018. In fact, total imports increased by a yearly 4.86% to $15.16B by September 2018 and exports recorded a yearly uptick of 4.14% to $2.20B over the same period.
In details, the value of imported “mineral products”(grasping 21.14% of total imported goods) stood at $3.20B by September 2018, recording a yearly downtick of 0.87%, owing it to a 25.93% y-o-y decline in their imported volume to 5.97M tons by September 2018. Meanwhile, the average price of oil increased by 35.51% y-o-y to $72.73/barrel over the same period.
As for the value of “machinery and electrical instruments”(grasping 11.70% of the total imported goods), it recorded a rise of 23.62% y-o-y to settle at $1.77B. Moreover, the value of imported “products of the chemical or allied industries” (grasping 10.91% of the total imported goods) also increased by 5.93% to $1.65B over the same period.
In terms of top trade partners, Lebanon primarily imported from China, Greece, Italy and USA with shares of 10.18%, 8.48%, 7.65% and 7.34% in the total value of imports, respectively, by September 2018.
As for exports, the value of “pearls, precious stones, & metals” (holding 22.97% of the total export goods) rose by an annual 9.66% to reach $505.38M by September 2018. In turn, the value of “base metals and articles of base metal” (holding 13.39% of the total export goods) climbed by a yearly 20.76% to $294.53M. Meanwhile, the value of “prepared foodstuffs, beverage, and tobacco” (holding 13.37% of the total export goods) decreased by 12.01% y-o-y to $294.18M
By September 2018, the UAE, followed by South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Syria were Lebanon’s top four export destinations, respectively constituting 14.54%, 7.49%, 6.92% and 6.36% of the total value of exports.
Lebanon’s Trade Deficit by September
Source: Lebanese Customs