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Industrial exports rose
Industrial exports excluding mineral products, pearls and precious stones, and base metals increased by four percent last year, registering $2.1 billion compared to $2 billion in 2013, according to Customs statistics.
Exports of prepared food stuffs and beverages reached $515 million last year, increasing by 14 percent compared to 2013. Pulp of wood exports also increased around 20 percent to $210 million last year. Products of chemicals increased 15 percent to $380 million.
Mounir Bissat, Chairman of the Syndicate of Lebanese Food Industries, said: “The major industrial sectors witnessed an increase in exports.” The main reason behind it is that local companies are penetrating new markets and gaining bigger market shares in the regions that they are already in. Industrialists were also filling the gap left by the Syrian factories.
Total industrial exports decreased by 16 percent in 2014, registering $3.1 billion last year, compared to $3.7 billion in 2013.
Exported mineral products accounted for $43 million last year, compared to $356 million in 2013, dropping by around 87 percent because mineral products like fuel oil and gasoline used to be exported to Syria through Lebanon in 2013, said Bissat.
Exports of pearls and precious stones dropped 30 percent to $541 million. Base metal exports decreased around 29 percent. According to Bissat, these exports used to include scrap metals but the Ministry of Industry has issued several decisions in favor of reducing the amount of scrap exported and recycling it locally instead.
Bissat said that the only industrial export indicator that witnessed a decrease last year is the machinery and electrical instrument subsector. “There was a global recession in this subsector,” he said.
The total number of industrial imports reached $19 billion last year, compared to $18.2 billion in 2013.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Feb 18, 2015
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