economic hardships, which Lebanon has been facing over a couple of years, continue to affect steel business. Slower construction activity resulted in a lower volume of steel imports during January-September 2019. Prospects for the whole year are not optimistic either.
Total steel imports to Lebanon dropped by 25.7% to 621,674 t year-on-year in the reported period, according to the Lebanese Customs Administration. Both long and flat steel segments demonstrated negative dynamics, weakening by 31.8% to 434,341 t and by 5.5% to 172,137 t respectively on annualized base. “economic cri-
sis hits all businesses. Movement is possible in the flat steel segment because HRC and other products are used for cutting to sheets or slitting to strips for tube-making, but longs are not highly demanded due to weak construction,”.
Source: lebanese Customs Administration, order of engineers and
Architects of Beirut and Tripoli
The number of real estate transactions in Lebanon
declined by 14.6% to 36,952 in January-September 2019, while the number of construction permits was 8,925, down 13.8% y-o-y. Consequently, rebar and wire rod deliveries dropped by 36.9% and 53.6% in Q1-Q3 2019. Ukraine (115,318 t) and Turkey (81,482 t) remained leb- anon’s main rebar suppliers in the first nine months of 2019, taking almost 63% of the product’s sales. The only newcomer to Lebanon was Libya, which sold around 5,000 t of rebar this summer. Wire rod deliveries to
the country were made from Turkey (17,575 t), Russia (5,015 t), Ukraine (3,987 t) and Saudi Arabia (3,852 t), Iran (3,518 t).
Ukraine took the palm of victory in the shipments of HRC and CRC as well, having shipped 56,621 t and 7,468 t respectively. In the coated steel segment, China was the main supplier with a 40% share (21,481 t).
Further situation with steel imports to Lebanon does not seem bright, taking into account big difficulties with foreign trade operations and payments. The crisis deepened in mid-October when the nationwide protests for urgent reforms took hold of the country.
Lebanon’s Steel Imports, t
|Product||Jan. – Sep. 2019||Jan. – Sep. 2018||y-o-y, %|
* – including other products, which are not mentioned in the table Source: Lebanese Customs Administration.