Although the quantity of the Lebanese oil import declined by 10.4 percent in 2000 compared with 1999, the monetary value of these imports grew by 40.4 percent during the same period, because of the sharp oil price jumps in 2000. Last year, the international crude oil prices went up by nearly 60 percent.
All in all, the quantities of oil imports dropped from 4,992,360 tons in 1999 to 4,471,744 tons in 2000. The value of these imports advanced from $809,402,954 to $1,136,366,181 during the same period.
The value of oil products imports is equivalent to about one sixth of the total Lebanese imports in 2000. As a result, the Lebanese trade balance deficit increased to more than $6 billion, the Saudi al-Watan daily reported. The Lebanese oil imports mainly consist of three products: benzene, gas oil and fuel oil.
Official statistics show that the quantity of benzene imports fell from 1,344,096 tons in 1999 to 1,263,757 tons in 2000, reflecting a 5.9 percent decrease. However, the value of these imports climbed from $268,765,436 to $402,595,067 during the same period, constituting a 49 percent boost.
Meanwhile, official figures indicate that the quantity of fuel oil imports dropped to 1,507,830 tons in 2000, down from 1,525,07 tons in 1999, representing a 1.13 percent shrinkage.
The value of these imports expanded from $194,233,934 to $270,157,901 during the same period, constituting a 39 percent jump. (MEBG-Albawaba)
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