Lebanon Businessnews News

Car imports drive up
Beirut port activity
Most cars bound for Arab countries, car
sales down, small vehicles in demand
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Activity at the Port of Beirut saw a slight improvement during the first half of the year. The number of containers inbound and outbound to the port reached 305,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), up five percent year-on-year.

The volume of merchandise flowing through the port grew to 3.5 million tons, up eight percent from a year ago. The increase is mainly the result of an increase in vehicle imports which stood at 39,700 units at end-June, a 24 percent y-o-y increase. “These cars transit through Beirut on their way to Iraq and other Arab markets,” said Samir Homsi, chairman of Impex, exclusive dealer for Chevrolet, Cadillac, Hummer, and Isuzu.

The number of containers transshipped through the port stood at 209,000 TEU, down by one percent y-o-y. Around 13,400 new cars were registered up until May, 14 percent higher than last year. According to Homsi, the car market is suffering a slowdown: “Numbers that show good activity in the market do not reflect reality, sales have in fact come down.” He said only small cars continue to see good demand, as consumers are growing more interested in fuel efficient vehicles.

Reported by Hanadi Chami
Date Posted: Jul 17, 2012
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