Goods imported through Libyan ports down reflecting general economic malaise
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 13 August 2018:
Libya’s goods imported through its ports dropped by 14 percent compared to last year Tripoli, the Director of the Information Department of the Libyan Ports Company, Mohamed Gwaider, was reported as saying by Libya’s official state news agency LANA.
The report said that the total volume of cargo arriving at Libyan ports was 1.869 million tons during the first half of this year, while it was 2.14 million tons in the same period last year.
The figures reflect the general malaise that the Libyan economy has been suffering, echoing the general trend of contraction of the economy since 2011 due to the fall in oil revenues caused by a fall in oil production and a fall in hard currency.
According to UNCTAD statistics, imports were as high as 8.32 million tones in 2012 falling to 5.2 million tons in 2016. Libya’s Liner Shipping Connectivity Index was 14.6 (out of 100) compared to 48.2 for Malta and 6.6 for Tunis in 2016.
The latest financial figures released by the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya (CBL) for the period 1/1/2018 to 30/6/2018 released in July, in fact reveal that Libyan oil revenues were up by LD 2.10 bn from a projected LD 13.50 bn to LD 15.60 bn.
The breakdown of the figures showed that tax revenues, customs and general (non-oil) state revenues were all down. Total state revenues, however, were up for the period by LD 420 m – from a projected LD 16.28 bn to LD 16.70 bn, thanks to a relative increase in oil revenues for the period.
However, giving credence to the decrease in imports figures, total state spending was down by LD 4.37 bn – from a projected LD 21.25 bn to LD 16.88 bn for the period. Development and projects spending were also down from a projected LD 2.35 bn to just LD 652 m.