Figures released by the Ministry of Industry show that industrial exports totaled $1.3bn in the first five months of 2012, constituting a decrease of 2.3% from the same period last year. Industrial exports reached $255.3m in May 2012, up 14.6% from $222.7m in April 2012 but down 12.1% from $290.6m in May 2011. Pearls & precious or semi-precious stones accounted for $279.8m, or 21.8% of total industrial exports in the first five months of the year, followed by machinery & mechanical appliances with $214.1m (16.7%), and base metals & articles of base metals with $183.6m (14.3%). Arab countries accounted for 52.5% of total industrial exports in May, followed by African countries with 13.6%, Asian countries with 12.4%, and European countries with 12.1%. In parallel, industrial imports reached $116.7m in the first five months of the year, up 15% from the same period in 2011. Italy was the main source of such imports and accounted for 22.5% of the total. It was followed by China with 17.5% and Germany with 11.9%. Further, imports of industrial equipment and machinery reached $27.3m in May 2012, increasing by 12.8% year-on-year. China was the main source of imports of industrial equipments, accounting for 18.7% of the total, followed by Italy with 17.3% and the Netherlands with 11.4%.
Lebanon This Week – Byblos Bank