Israel imported US$76.5 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2019, up by 23.2% since 2015 but down by -0.1% from 2018 to 2019.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Israeli shekel appreciated by 8.3% against the US dollar since 2015 and increased by 0.7% from 2018 to 2019. Israel’s stronger local currency makes its imports paid for in weaker US dollars relatively less expensive when converted starting from the Israeli shekel.
From a continental perspective, about 40% of Israel’s total imports by value in 2019 were purchased from European countries. Asian trade partners supplied over 35% of import purchases by Israel while 17.4% worth of goods originated from North America. Smaller percentages were furnished by exporters in Latin America (1.8%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (1.8%), Africa (0.9%) and Oceania (0.3%) led by Australia.
Given Israel’s population of 9.1 million people, its total $76.5 billion worth of 2019 imports translates to roughly $8,400 in yearly product demand from every person in the Middle Eastern country.
Israel’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Israel’s import purchases during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Israel.
- Machinery including computers: US$9.4 billion (12.4% of total imports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $9.3 billion (12.1%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $8.1 billion (10.6%)
- Vehicles: $7 billion (9.1%)
- Gems, precious metals: $5.1 billion (6.6%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $2.8 billion (3.6%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $2.8 billion (3.6%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $2.7 billion (3.5%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $2.1 billion (2.7%)
- Iron, steel: $1.6 billion (2.1%)
Israel’s top 10 imports accounted for about two-thirds (66.5%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Aircraft and spacecraft posted the fastest increase in value among Israel’s top 10 import categories, up 24.6% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving import purchases was the pharmaceuticals category, thanks to its 13.4% uptick. Israeli imports of vehicles delivered the third-fastest gain up 8.8%.
The greatest decliner was the gems and precious metals category, falling -26.2% year over year and weighed down by Israel’s diminishing international sales of diamonds.
Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.
In 2019, Israeli importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.
- Computers, optical readers: US$1.6 billion (up 1% from 2018)
- Turbo-jets: $1.4 billion (up 117%)
- Machinery for making semi-conductors: $881.2 million (down -61.8%)
- Printing machinery: $406 million (down -9.2%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $387.6 million (up 5.2%)
- Refrigerators, freezers: $344.3 million (down -0.8%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $326.9 million (up 4.8%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $303.9 million (up 17.5%)
- Air conditioners: $270.8 million (down -3.2%)
- Lifting/loading machinery: $263.2 million (up 25%)
Among these import subcategories, Israel’s purchases of turbo-jets (up 117%), lifting and loading machinery (up 25%) then miscellaneous machinery (up 17.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery including computers among Israel’s businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Israeli importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.
- Crude oil: US$6 billion (down -2.4% from 2018)
- Processed petroleum oils: $2.3 billion (down -8.9%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $617.7 million (down -17.9%)
- Petroleum gases: $349.6 million (up 1.6%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $26.4 million (down -29.3%)
- Peat: $10.1 million (down -9.3%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $6 million (up 11.2%)
- Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $4.9 million (down -3.2%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $4.4 million (down -9.4%)
- Tar pitch, coke: $565,000 (down -51.4%)
Among these import subcategories, Israel’s purchases of petroleum jelly and mineral waxes (up 11.2%) and petroleum gases (up 1.6%) grew from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported mineral fuels-related products among Israel’s businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Israeli importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electrical products including consumer electronics.
- Phone system devices including smartphones: US$2.2 billion (up 5.5% from 2018)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $1 billion (down -12.2%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $530.5 million (up 19%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $468.2 million (down -12.1%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $391.9 million (up 7.4%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $335.8 million (down -4%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $262.9 million (down -6.3%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $236.1 million (up 9.1%)
- Electrical machinery: $208.8 million (up 12.6%)
- Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $205.7 million (up 21.5%)
Among these import subcategories, Israel’s purchases of electrical and optical circuit boards or panels (up 21.5%), insulated wire and cable (up 19%) then electrical machinery (up 12.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electrical products among Israel’s businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Israeli importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles.
- Cars: US$5.1 billion (up 11.7% from 2018)
- Trucks: $872.1 million (up 8%)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $309.4 million (down -0.8%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $234.4 million (down -6.7%)
- Motorcycles: $128.1 million (up 2.1%)
- Tractors: $72.1 million (up 25.3%)
- Trailers: $71.7 million (down -2.6%)
- Special purpose vehicles: $69.5 million (up 9.7%)
- Chassis fitted with engine: $63.4 million (down -31.8%)
- Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $28.5 million (down -17.5%)
Among these import subcategories, Israel’s purchases of tractors (up 25.3%), cars (up 11.7%) then special purpose vehicles (up 9.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicles among Israel’s businesses and consumers.
See also Israel’s Top Trading Partners and Israel’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Middle East: Israel. Accessed on March 24, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 24, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 24, 2020
Wikipedia, Israel. Accessed on March 24, 2020
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Jerusalem, Israel. Accessed on March 24, 2020