File - Beirut port is seen on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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The total value of industrial exports dropped by 14.5 percent from $1.188 billion in the first four months of 2013 to $1.016 billion during the same period in 2014, according to a report issued by the Industry Ministry Tuesday. Industrialists told The Daily Star that the decline in exports was mainly due to higher shipping rates and local production costs leading to lower competitiveness of Lebanese exports. Abboud added that land shipping costs including insurance fees to Saudi Arabia, one of Lebanon's main regional export markets have almost doubled over the past few years to around $4,000 mainly due to security problems spanning the export route.According to the report issued by the Industry Ministry, industrial exports for the month of April 2014 reached $277.1 million compared to $297.3 million in April 2013, registering a drop of 6.8 percent.The main destinations for Lebanese industrial exports during April 2014, according to the report, are Arab countries with a value of $158 million equivalent to 57 percent of total Lebanese industrial exports. Today, land shipping has nearly stopped with Lebanese exporters resorting to maritime shipping.
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