Lebanon’s trade deficit narrowed by 0.92% year-on-year (y-o-y) by June 2017, to reach $7.94B. As such, total imports shrank by an incremental 0.19% y-o-y to $9.38B, while exports gained a yearly 4.03% to $1.44B on the back of an annual 20.96% increase in the volume of exported goods to 0.97M tons.
The top products imported to Lebanon were Mineral products with a share of 20.19%, followed by 11.05% for products of the Chemical and allied industries, 10.24% for Machinery and electrical instruments, and Vehicles, aircraft, vessels, transport equipment, which grasped a stake of 9.57% of total imports.
The values of imported Mineral products and of Products of the Chemical and allied Industries contracted by yearly 9.93% and 0.44% to settle at $1.89B and $1.04B, respectively, in H1 2017. Meanwhile, each of the values of Machinery and electrical instruments, as well as Vehicles, aircraft, vessels, transport equipment, grew by an annual 2.85%, and 5.37% to $960.8M and $897.83M, respectively over the same period.
China, Italy, Germany, and Greece were Lebanon’s top import destinations in H1 2017, with the respective shares of 9.76%, 8%, 6.39%, and 7.47%, respectively.
As for exports, the top products exported from Lebanon were Pearls, precious stones and metals with a stake of 23.49% of total exported products, followed by Prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco grasping a share of 16.70% of total exports, Base metals and articles of base metal, as well as Machinery and electrical instruments with respective stakes of 11.04% and 11.01% of the total.
In details, the value of Pearls, precious stones, & metals rose by 11.21% y-o-y to $337.63M in H1 2017 owing to the 48.1% increase in volume and the average price of gold in H1 climbing from $1,220.14/ounce in 2016 to $1,239.14/ounce in H1 2017. As for Prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco as well as Base metals and articles of base metal, they recorded upticks of 3.2% and 23.86% y-o-y, to reach $240.03M and $158.72M, respectively, in the same period. However, the value of Machinery and electrical instruments slipped by a yearly 12.87% to $158.18M by June 2017.
It is worthy to mention that the top three export destinations in H1 2017 were: South Africa, Syria, and the UAE, grasping shares of 12.84%, 9.31%, and 8.72% of Lebanon’s total exported goods.
In the month of June alone, the deficit fell from $1.26B in June 2016 to $1.22B this year, as exports declined by 16.26% y-o-y to $229.81M, while imports decreased by an annual 5.16% to $1.45B.
Trade deficit in H1 2017 (in $B)
Source: Lebanese Customs