Trade activity at Lebanon’s main customs offices was down during the first ten months of the 2015. Total imports fell by a yearly 16% to $14.69B while total exports fell by a yearly 11% to $2.49B. The decline in the value of imports is partly due to the drop in imported volume from 13.29M tons up to October 2014 to 12.86M up to October 2014, but it also due to the decline in the prices of oil and the depreciation of the euro. Meanwhile, the drop in exports is almost entirely accounted for by a drop in volume from 1.96M tons by October 2014 to 1.77M by October 2015.
Data from Lebanese customs confirms that the Port of Beirut is the main hub of the country as 71% of the country’s imports and 43% of the country’s exports go through its customs office. It is closely followed by the customs office of Rafic Hariri International Airport through which 19% of Lebanon’s imports and 29% of Lebanon’s exports have been processed up to October 2015.
Customs offices of Tripoli, Saida and Masnaa also hold shares of 5.66%, 2.44% and 0.84% in Lebanon’s total imports. The value of exports accounted for at the customs offices of Masnaa, Tripoli, Abboudieh and Arida stood at 15%, 6%, 5.6% and 1.5% respectively by October 2015.
Due to the ongoing war in Syria and the rebels’ seizure of the Nassib border crossing between Syria and Jordan , the volume and value of imports processed at the customs office of Masnaa by October 2015 plummeted by 60% each to $124.08M and 92,729 tons, respectively.
Imports by Customs’ Office, Share in Total
Exports by Customs’ Office, Share in Total Source: Lebanese Customs