Lebanon’s trade deficit widened by 4.83% year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach $11.73B by August 2018. In fact, total imports increased by a yearly 4.76% to $13.72B by August 2018 while exports recorded a yearly uptick of 4.39% to $1.99B over the same period.
“Mineral products” were the leading imports to Lebanon in the first 8 months of 2018, grasping a 21.29% stake of total imported goods. “Machinery and Electrical Instruments” followed, constituting 11.87% of the total, while “Products of the chemical or allied industries” grasped 10.92% of the total.
In details, the value of imported “mineral products” stood at $2.92B by August 2018, down by a yearly 0.12%, owing it to a 26.73% y-o-y decline in their imported volume to 5.40M tons by August 2018. Meanwhile, the average price of oil increased by 38.08% y-o-y to $72/barrel over the same period. As for the value of “machinery and electrical instruments”, it recorded a rise of 25.76% y-o-y to settle at $1.63B, and that of “products of the chemical or allied industries” also increased by 5.63% to $1.50B over the same period.
In terms of top trade partners, Lebanon primarily imported from China, Italy, Greece, and USA with shares of 10%, 8%, 8% and 7% in the total value of imports, respectively, in August 2018.
As for exports, the top category of products exported from Lebanon was “pearls, precious stones and metals”, which grasped a share of 23.59% of total exports, followed by a share of 13.61% for “prepared foodstuffs, beverage, and tobacco ” and 13.59% for “base metals and articles of base metal” by Aug 2018.
In details, the value of “pearls, precious stones, & metals” rose by an annual 16.82% to reach $468.49M by August 2018. In turn, the value of “prepared foodstuffs, beverage, and tobacco” decreased by 11.98% y-o-y to $270.25M. Meanwhile, the value of “base metals and articles of base metal” climbed by a yearly 22.9% to $269.95M.
In August 2018, the UAE, followed by South Africa and Saudi Arabia were Lebanon’s top three export destinations, respectively constituting 14%, 8% and 7% of the total value of exports.
Lebanon’s Trade Deficit by August
Source: Lebanese Customs