Foreign trade figures for June continue to indicate a worsening slowdown in economic demand. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, industrial exports, quarrying and mining (excluding diamonds) were down 12.6% in the second quarter of 2014, a bigger dip than the 7.6% drop in the first quarter.
The fall in industrial exports was common to all technological levels, with high-tech industrial exports, which account for 43% of all industrial exports, off in the second quarter by an annualized 12.3% in the trend data, a bigger decrease than the annualized 7.6% drop in the first quarter.
Export figures by sector show a sharp drop of over 18% in pharmaceutical exports. Mixed high-tech exports (37% of all industrial exports) grew by an annualized 17.2% in the second quarter, following a 4.6% dip in the first quarter. Exports of chemicals and chemical products plunged by an annualized 26% in the second quarter (an average drop of 2.5% per month).
Mixed conventional technology industrial exports fell 12.2% over the past three months. Conventional technology industrial exports (7% of all industrial exports) were off 5%. In figures for the first six months of 2014, industrial exports, excluding diamonds and aircraft, remained almost unchanged, compared with the corresponding six months last year (an increase of only 0.8%), at NIS 24.1 billion.
The slowdown in economic demand was also reflected in imports, with demand for imported raw materials and overseas investment goods sliding further, a drop that will cause a future decease in supply (in production). According to the figures, imports of raw materials (excluding diamonds and energy products) fell 4.3% in the second quarter of 2014 in trend data, following a 2% rise in the first quarter and a 1.8% increase in the first quarter of 2013.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 13, 2014
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