Syria’s Top 10 Exports

Syrian Arab Republic flag

by FlagPictures.org

A West Asian nation bordering Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Israel, the Syrian Arab Republic shipped US$704.4 million worth of goods around the globe in 2016.

That dollar amount results from an estimated -92.7% drop since 2009 when the Great Recession kicked in, and a -16.5% decline from 2015 to 2016.

Syria’s top 10 exports accounted for almost three-quarters (71.9% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Syria’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $55.8 billion in 2015 (on a purchasing power parity basis). Therefore, exports represent roughly 1.3% of total Syrian economic output.

Given Syria’s population of 17.2 million people, its total $704.4 million in 2016 exports translates to approximately $50 for every resident in that country.

Trading Economics projects that Syria’s unemployment rate was 28% as of second quarter 2017.

Syria’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Syrian global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Syria.

  1. Fruits, nuts: US$138.4 million (19.7% of total exports)
  2. Coffee, tea, spices: $98.9 million (14%)
  3. Vegetables: $68.7 million (9.8%)
  4. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $64.2 million (9.1%)
  5. Cotton: $37.4 million (5.3%)
  6. Soaps, washing preparations, lubricants, waxes: $22.4 million (3.2%)
  7. Wool: $19.7 million (2.8%)
  8. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $19.3 million (2.7%)
  9. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $18.7 million (2.7%)
  10. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $18.6 million (2.6%)

Two of these top categories increased in value from 2009 to 2016: wool (up by 372.9%) trailed by coffee, tea and spices (up by 40.7%).

The leading decliner among the top 10 Syrian export categories was knit or crochet clothing and accessories which retreated in value by -95%.

Advantages

The following types of Syrian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Fruits, nuts: US$108.9 million (Down by -60.3% since 2009)
  2. Wool: $17.6 million (Down by -335.1%)
  3. Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $10.9 million (Up by 0.4%)
  4. Stone, plaster, cement, asbestos: $9.9 million (Down by -76.4%)
  5. Lead: $6.4 million (Up by 210.9%)
  6. Furskins, artificial fur: $4.6 million (Up by 242.6%)
  7. Miscellaneous animal-origin products: $2.8 million (Up by 2%)
  8. Vegetable plaiting materials: $1.5 million (Down by -86.1%)
  9. Live trees, plants, cut flowers: $1.4 million (Down by -53.7%)
  10. Headgear: $1.3 million (Down by -75.9%)

Syria has highly positive net exports in the international trade of applies, lemons, watermelons, oranges, figs and almonds. In turn, these cashflows indicate Syria’s strong competitive advantages under the fruits and nuts category.

Opportunities

Overall, Syria incurred a -$3.6 billion trade deficit during 2016.

Below are exports from Syria that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Syria’s goods trail Syrian importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Vehicles : -US$272.8 million (Down by -74.2% since 2009)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$254.7 million (Up by 13.4%)
  3. Plastics, plastic articles: -$243.8 million (Down by -66.1%)
  4. Machinery including computers: -$205.3 million (Down by -77.4%)
  5. Sugar, sugar confectionery: -$201.2 million (Down by -46.1%)
  6. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$130.3 million (Down by -8.8%)
  7. Milling products, malt, starches: -$119.1 million (Down by -4131.4%)
  8. Cereals: -$109.6 million (Down by -88.9%)
  9. Cereal/milk preparations: -$98 million (Down by -144.1%)
  10. Iron, steel: -$92.9 million (Down by -95.7%)

Syria has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the vehicles category.

Companies

Syrian Export Companies

Not one Syrian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2016.

Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Syria. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Bank of Syria and Overseas (international bank)
  • Château Bargylus (wine)
  • Chemins de Fer Syriens (industrial transportation)
  • Hmisho Trading Group (heavy metals, vehicles)
  • Syrian Petroleum Company (oil, gas)

Syria’s capital city is Damascus.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Turkey’s Top Trading Partners, Top 10 Exports from Cyprus and Capital Facts for Damascus, Syria

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on May 15, 2017

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 15, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 15, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 15, 2017

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Syria. Accessed on May 15, 2017

Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 15, 2017