Industrial exports almost flat
Syrian market closed to some products
Industrial exports excluding diesel products reached $2.13 billion in the first nine months of 2013, down by 2.3 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, according to Ministry of Industry figures.
Ziad Bekdache, Vice President of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI), said: “Only factories that manufacture consumer products, and the food and beverage industry benefited from the Syrian turmoil. Manufacturers of raw materials for Syrian factories, like cardboard, are recording losses.”
Bekdache said exports of other secondary commodities to Syria, like potato chips, shrank. Master Chips, a company under Daher Foods, had established a new factory in Ferzol, Bekaa to meet the demand in neighboring countries. But production was postponed until security conditions in regional markets improves, according to Michel Daher, co-founder of Daher Foods.
“Our cardboard exports to the Syrian market dropped by 20 percent due to the crisis there,” said Michel Ayoub, Assistant General Manager of Sicomo, a recycled cardboard mill. He said that they are looking for alternative markets to compensate their losses. They are exporting to Saudi Arabia and countries in North Africa, but their margin of profits is lower due to transportation costs.
When including diesel products, the value of industrial exports reaches $2.4 billion in the first nine months of 2013, up by ten percent compared to the same period of the previous year,
Imports of industrial machinery and equipment increased by 11 percent to reach $243 million.
Date Posted: Nov 29, 2013