down 12 percent
Depreciation of the euro and instability
of Iraq chief among reasons
Total industrial exports decreased by 12 percent in 2015, registering $2.7 billion last year, compared to $3.1 billion in 2014. Exports in volume decreased from 1.6 million in 2014 to 1.5 million tons last year, according to Customs statistics.
Industrial exports, excluding mineral products (mostly oil), pearls and precious stones, and base metals, decreased by seven percent last year, registering $2.2 billion compared to $2.5 billion in 2014.
Fadi Gemayel, Chairman of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, said: “The unstable security situation facing the markets that we export to, such as Iraq, is one of the main reasons behind this drop.” He said that the depreciation of the Euro increased the competitiveness of the European products against ours.
Gaby Tamer, Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, said: “The closure of land border crossings has impacted exports negatively.”
Exports of prepared foodstuffs and beverages reached $482 million last year, down by six percent compared to 2014. Chemical products grew by around seven percent to $410 million last year. Tamer said that chemical products industrialists replaced those from several other countries, especially because local products have more added value.
Mounir Bissat, Head of the Council for Industrial Exports’ Development at the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, said: “Last year wasn’t normal, starting from the food safety crisis to the shutdown of borders and the closure of the port for more than 20 days, which stopped the entrance of raw and packaging materials.” He said that factories missed around 25 days of production due to this crisis.
Bissat said that the drop in the price of raw materials led to a price reduction for our products. The decrease in the volume is slight compared to the value of the exports. “We haven’t heard industrialists complain that there is a large drop in their exports,” he said.
Date Posted: Jan 29, 2016