An initial summation of the overall export figures for 2017 by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI) shows that exports of goods and services from Israel are projected to exceed $100 billion in 2017, 5% more in dollar terms than in 2016. Total exports of goods and services, excluding startups and diamonds, were up 6% to $92 billion.
Following years of decline, and after reaching their lowest point in six years in 2016, exports of goods to the European Union (EU) grew 20% to $16 billion in 2017, and accounted for 35% of Israel's total exports of goods last year. The main factor in the increase was the economic recovery in these countries. Exports of drugs, which account for a quarter of all exports of goods to the EU, greatly contributed to the increase in exports to this region. Even when drugs are excluded, however, exports of goods to the EU increased substantially, led by chemicals and aircraft.
Exports of goods to the US in 2017 remained unchanged at $11.5 billion, 25% of all the goods exported by Israel, following three consecutive years of increases. Exports to the US grew in a range of sectors, led by electronics, telecommunications, and medical equipment, while exports of drugs to the US fell steeply.
Exports of goods to Asia totaled $8.5 billion in 2017, 15% less than in 2016. Like last year, exports to Asia were materially affected by the steep decline in exports of electronic components, which account for one quarter of Israel's total exports of goods to Asia. Excluding this factor, exports of goods to Asia were the same as last year. Taking into account the expected recovery in exports of components in 2018, exports to Asia are therefore likely to recover. Exports of goods to Asia accounted for 18% of Israel's total exports of goods in 2017.
Exports of goods to China were unchanged this year. Since exports of goods to Asia as a whole declined, the proportion of these exports in exports of goods to Asia rose to over one third. Exports of goods to South Korea, Japan, and Singapore also rose strongly, while exports of goods to India fell by more than 10%. Exports of goods to Vietnam and Malaysia also dropped substantially, mostly due to smaller exports of electronic components.
Exports of goods to Latin American countries rose 3% to $1.9 billion 4% of Israel's total exports of goods. The main reason was higher exports to Brazil and Argentina.
Exports of good to African countries recovered somewhat, totaling $860 million, 2% of Israel's total exports of goods and 4% more than in 2016, after several straight years of decline.
Ministry of the Economy and Industry Eli Cohen said, "The government set a target of $100 billion for exports in 2020, and it is believed that this target has now been achieved in 2017, thanks to joint action by exporters, the Export Institute, and the Ministry of the Economy and Industry."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on January 2, 2018
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