During the first month of 2021, Lebanon’s trade deficit totaled $732.5M, narrowing from the $820.5M registered in the same month last year. In fact, total imported goods retreated by 20.6% year-on-year (YOY) to $916.45M. This may be attributed to the deterioration of the Lebanese purchasing power, due to the catastrophic depreciation of the national currency against the dollar. Meanwhile, Lebanon’s total exports retreated by 44.8% YOY to $183.88M in January 2021.
In detail, the “Mineral products” grasped the lion’s share of total imported goods with a stake of 25.4%. “Products of the chemical or allied industries” ranked second, composing 15.97% of the total while “Vegetable Products” and “Pearls, precious stones and metals” grasped the respective shares of 7.25% and 8.93%, respectively.
Compared to January 2020, the value of imported “Mineral products” slumped from $458.1M to $232.40M. In fact, the imported volume of mineral products (mostly oil) decreased by 49.27% YOY. This giant decrease is mainly attributed to the deterioration of the national currency, while BDL has strict measures in order to accept to subsidize the importation of oil ot the official Lebanese rate 1507.5.
In January, the top three import destinations were Turkey, China, and Greece grasping the respective shares of 11.45%, 7.89%, and 7.60% of the total value of imports.
On the Exports front, Lebanon’s top exported products were “Pearls, precious stones and metals” grasping a share of 39.64% of the total. “Base metals &articles of base metal” and “Prepared foodstuffs, beverages & tobacco” followed, with each grasping a share of 8.60% and 8.77%, respectively, of the total..
The top three export destinations in January 2021 were UAE, Switzerland and Egypt with the respective shares of 18.7%, 10.5% and 6.7%.
Trade Deficit in January ($B)