According to the Lebanese Customs, Lebanon’s trade deficit rose by 1.39% from $9.22B by July 2016 to $9.34B by July 2017. The rise can be attributed to the 1.42% rise in imports to $11B, which offset the 1.62% rise in exports to $1.65B. Moreover volume of both imported and exported goods went up, where the imported volume rose by 1.27% to 10.34M tons and the exported volume increased by 29% to 1.11M tons, by July 2017
When it comes to imports, mineral products (19.63% of total import value) saw a drop in value when compared to the previous year. In details, imports of mineral products fell by 6.25% y-o-y to stand at $2.16B. Nonetheless, products of the chemical or allied industries, which registered 11.15% of the total value of imported goods, rose by a yearly 2.28% to $1.23B. As for machinery and electrical instruments, they grasped a share of 10.33% of the total value and rose by 4.04% from July 2016 to stand at $1.14B by July 2017.
The top import destinations for the first seven months of the year were China, Greece, USA and Germany with respective shares of 10%, 7%, and 6% for each of Germany and the US.
As for exports, “pearls, precious stones and metals” products maintained the highest share of exported goods yet they dropped by 11.72% to reach $360.98M during the first 7 months of 2017. As for prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco, they comprised 16.47% of exported goods’ value amounting to $272.47M by July 2017, compared to $262.04M by July 2016. Moreover, exports of base metals, that take up to 11.21% of the total exports, substantially rose by 31% y-o-y to $185.54M by July 2017.
The top export destinations for the same period were South Africa with a share of 12% of the total value, followed by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Syria accounting for 9% each, and Iraq with 7% of the total value.
Trade Deficit by July 2017 (in $B)
Source: Lebanese Customs