Trade Deficit Widens by 3.00% y-o-y to $14.66B by October 2014

Lebanon’s trade deficit for the first 10 months of 2014 stood at $14.66B. This represents an increase 3.00% year-on-year (y-o-y) due to the decrease in exports more than offsetting the decrease in imports. Lebanon’s exports covered 16.00% of the imports by October 2014, up from 19.42% for the same period in 2013. Total imports dropped by 1.20% y-o-y to $17.45B. The three main goods imported to Lebanon were mineral products, which increased by 4.47% y-o-y (24.67% share of total imports), machinery and electrical instruments, which dropped by 16.51% y-o-y (10.53% 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 3.43% y-o-y (9.70% 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%. Simultaneously, total exports fell by 18.61%, yearly, to $2.79B. This was mainly due to the significant drops in exports of pearls, precious stones and metals by 32.48% y-o-y (17.26% of total exports) and the 15.05% y-o-y decline in exports of machinery and electrical instruments (13.30% share of total exports). These declines are mainly due to decreased quantity demanded y-o-y, as shown by the 19.41% y-o-y decline in quantities of machinery and electrical instruments exported. 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 10%, respectively. Lebanon’s trade deficit, for the month of October alone, narrowed by 2.76% y-o-y to $1.44B, triggered by the 1.92% drop in imports. In contrast, exports increased by 2.65% in October.

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