The latest data provided by the Lebanese Ministry of Industry (MoI) revealed that the value of total industrial exports fell by 2% year-on-year (YOY) to stand at $2.5B in 2019, compared to an uptick of 3%YOY in 2018.
On a monthly basis, the value of total industrial exports in December 2019 amounted to $203.9M, down by 7.1%YOY. A breakdown of the data shows that “Machinery & electrical equipment” grasped the lion’s share (or 19.4%) of total exported products and these recorded a 6.8%YOY uptick to $39.54M in December 2019. “Prepared Foodstuffs and tobacco” ranked second largest (17.8% of total) and increased by an annual 13.4% to $36.27M. Meanwhile, “Products of the chemical industries” (15.2% of total) retreated by a substantial 23.1% in December 2019 to $31.03M. As for the exports of “Base metals and articles of base metal” (13.17% of total exports), their value climbed by a yearly 24.6% to $26.85M over the same period. It is worthy to mention that “Pearls, precious stones/semi-precious stones, metals and articles thereof” (4.8% of total) witnessed a hefty downtick of 50% to $9.7M in December 2019. This may be linked to the slowdown in the regional economies of the UAE and the KSA and the giddy political ties with the two states in 2019, noting these were the top two importers of this product in 2018. Effectively, the UAE imported half the amount in 2019 or $6.8M only while the KSA only $260k compared to 2018’s $3.9M.
Overall, the primary export markets for Lebanon’s industrial products in 2019 were: the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iraq which grasped the respective shares of 10.2%, 9.9% and 7.6% of total exports.
Comparative: Main Industrial Exports in Dec. 2018 and 2019 (in $M)