Foreign trade maintainsstrong performance. Imports up by 18 percent, exports by three percent over first half of 2012 - Lebanon

Foreign trade maintainsstrong performance
Imports up by 18 percent, exports by
three percent over first half of 2012
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External trade remained steady over the first half of the year as imports grew by 18 percent and exports grew by just three percent from the same period last year.

By end-June, imports totaled $10.8 billion, while exports totaled $2 billion. The deficit was 22 percent higher than it was in the same period of 2011.

Imports were driven up by a 40 percent rise in imports of petroleum products. These imports reached $2.3 billion in the first three months of the year, posting a 130 percent increase year-on-year.

On the export side, a 15 percent rise in exports of precious stones (which represent 40 percent of all exports) partially offset the18 percent drop in exports of base metals (ten percent of exports). Exports of chemical products (eight percent of total exports) were down by eight percent, while exports of paper products (four percent of total) fell by 25 percent. Vegetable exports fell by 12 percent, accounting for just three percent of the total export bill.

Transit activity fell by 14 percent. Transshipment was down by 50 percent.

Reported by Hanadi Chami
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Date Posted: Jul 24, 2012