Data from the Customs revealed that the Lebanese trade deficit rose by 3.56% y-o-y to reach $15.65B by Dec. 2016, as imports climbed by 3.54% y-o-y to $18.7B, and exports increased by a yearly 3.45% to $3.1B.
In terms of imports, the value of Mineral Products constituting 19.98% of total imports increased by 8.71% y-o-y to $3.73B. Products of the Chemical or Allied Industries grasping 10.85% of the total value of imports also rose by a yearly 4.41% to $2.03B. Moreover, Vehicles, aircraft, vessels, and transport equipment, which constituted 9.49% of total exports, rose by 0.99% to $1.78B. However, Machinery and Electrical Instruments, which constitute 10.07% of total imports, declined by 5.49% yearly, to stand at $1.88B by Dec.2016.
By Dec. 2016, the lion’s share of Lebanon’s imports were from Greece, Russia, China, Italy, and Kuwait, with the respective shares of 13.86%, 11.07%, 8.81%, 8.09%, and 5.49% of total imports.
As for Exports, Pearls, Precious stones and Metals constituting 32.33% of total exports rose by 90.88% y-o-y to reach $828.53M by Dec. 2016, as the average price of Gold rose by 7.63% to stand at $1,247.95. However, Prepared foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco which made up 17.44% of total exports fell by a yearly 7.4% and settled at $447M by Dec.2016. Machinery and electrical instruments (13.69% of total exports) also declined from $413.81M by Dec.2015 to $350.97M by Dec. 2016. Similarly, Products of the chemical or allied industries (11.73% of total exports) decreased by 26.84% y-o-y to stand at $300.7M over the same period.
By the end of 2016, Lebanon had mainly exported to: Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait, carrying the respective weights of 15.2%, 14.85%, 8.05%, 5.38%, and 5.2% of the total value of exports.
Trade Deficit by December (in $B)
Source: Lebanese Customs