Lebanon’s trade deficit widened in the first 8 months of the year to reach $11.37B, down by 3.10% compared to the same period in 2018. In details, the total value of imports gained an annual 0.88% to stand at $13.84B. Also, the value of exports rose by 24.36 %to stand at $2.47B by September 2019. Worth noting that “Mineral products “and “Vegetable products” are the only 2 categories to witness an increase in its imported value. As for the month of September alone, total Deficit amounted to $1.43B which is 29.05 % lower when compared to the same month last year.
In term of value, “Mineral products” were the leading imports to Lebanon by August 2019, grasping a 34.20% stake of total imported goods. “Products of the chemical or allied industries” followed, constituting 10.15% of the total, while “machinery and electrical instruments” grasped 8.84% of the total.
In details, Lebanon imported $4.73B worth of “Mineral Products”, compared to a value of 2.92B in the same period last year. In fact, the net weight of imported “mineral fuels, oils and their products” is still increasing since the start of the year and witnessed a yearly rise from 4,530,425 tons by August 2018 to reach 8,449,359 tons by August 2019.
Meanwhile, the value of “chemical or allied industries” recorded a decrease of 6.23% y-o-y to settle at $1.40B and that of “machinery and electrical instruments” also declined by 24.88% over the same period to $1.22B.
In terms of top trade partners, Lebanon primarily imported from US, China, and Russia with shares of 9.01%, 8.53% and 7.91%, respectively, by August 2019.
As for exports, the top category of products exported from Lebanon were “pearls, precious stones and metals”, which grasped a share of 37.32% of total exports, followed by a share of 10.40% for “Products of the chemical or allied industries “and 10.09% for “prepared foodstuffs, beverage, and tobacco “over the same period.
In details, the value of “pearls, precious stones, & metals” surged from 468.49M by August 2018 to reach $921.78M by August 2019. As for the value of “Products of the chemical or allied industries”, it recorded an increase of 10.95% year-on-year to $256.97M. Meanwhile, the value of “Prepared foodstuffs; beverages, tobacco”, it declined by 7.77% y-o-y to $249.25M.
In the first 8months of 2019, Switzerland followed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia were Lebanon’s top three export destinations, respectively constituting 22.55%, 12.21%, and 6.64% of total exports.
Yearly Evolution of the Trade Deficit
Source :Lebanese Customs