The pattern of Israeli exports underwent changes in the first quarter of this
year, according to an analysis by the economics division of the Israel Export
and International Cooperation Institute.
The US remains the most
important destination by far, but the UK has become the largest in
Turkey has dropped from third to sixth, as relations between
Israel and Turkey continue to be sour. The UK is in second place, up from
seventh last year, and is Israel’s largest export destination in
Total exports of goods (excluding diamonds) to the US were worth
$2.4 billion in the first quarter, which represents a sharp 23 percent drop in
comparison with the first quarter of 2011. The drop is mainly due to a decline
in exports of drugs, with drugs exports being diverted from the US to
Exports to the UK totaled $650 million, 84% more than in the
Exports of drugs to the UK soared
Holland was the third largest export destination in the first
quarter of 2012, down from second in the corresponding quarter last year.
Exports to Holland totaled $630m., 18% more than in the corresponding quarter.
China was in fourth place, up from fifth. First quarter exports to China totaled
$540m., 15% more than in the corresponding quarter.
Germany fell from
fourth place in the first quarter of 2011 to fifth in the first quarter of this
year. Exports to Germany totaled $410m., down 15%. The Export Institute points
out that Germany had been one of Israel’s most stable export destinations,
growing consistently from year to year.
Exports to Turkey totaled $390
million in the first quarter this year, down 23% from the corresponding
According to the Export Institute, chemicals and refined oil
products accounted for 65% of exports to Turkey in the first quarter of this
year, and a 26% decline in exports in this sector was the main factor in the
Export Institute Chairman Ramzi Gabbay said: “The
changes in the pattern of Israeli exports reflect the impact of dominant sectors
such as drugs, chemicals and electronic components on export figures for markets
such as the US, Britain, Holland, Turkey, China and India. Of particular concern
is the decline in exports to Germany in most export sectors.
“There is no
doubt that Israeli exporters are finding it tough to cope with the difficulties
in Israel’s main markets, because of the strength of shekel in real terms in
comparison with four-to-five years ago, alongside growing competition from
South-East Asian companies,” he added.