Lebanon’s trade deficit for the first 9 months of 2014 narrowed to $12.43B, down from $12.75B. Accordingly, trade deficit contracted by 2.50% year-on-year (y-o-y) as exports increased and imports decreased. Lebanon’s exports covered 21.19% of the imports by September 2014, up from 19.86% for the same period in 2013.
Total imports dropped by 0.85% y-o-y to $15.77B. The three main goods imported to Lebanon were mineral products, which increased by 6.48% y-o-y (25% share of total imports), machinery and electrical instruments, which dropped by 16.53% y-o-y (11% share of total imports) partly due to the weak construction activity and to the mild intensity of the past winter, and products of the chemical or allied industries, which rose 3.27% y-o-y (10% share of total imports). The three major countries that Lebanon imports products from were China, Italy and France, with respective weights of 12%, 8% and 7%.
Concomitantly, total exports widened by 5.79%, yearly, to $3.34B. This was mainly due to the 40.86% y-o-y surge in machinery and electrical instruments exports (17% share of total exports) and the 25.28% growth in prepared foodstuff, beverages and tobacco exports (12% share of total exports). However, pearls, precious stones and metals (13% share of total exports) plunged by 35.45%. The three major countries that Lebanon exports products to were Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates, with weights of 11%, 10% and 9%, respectively.
Lebanon’s trade deficit, for the month of September alone, narrowed by 0.61% y-o-y to $1.27B, triggered by the 39.73% surge in exports. Imports also inched up by 6.82% in September.
Total Imports and Exports by September (In $B)
Source: Lebanese Customs