Published On: Mon, May 19th, 2014

Israel : Trade Data for January – April 2014

Pinchas-LandauBottom line: The trade deficit for April posted another significant deterioration, widening to US$2.2bn on an unadjusted basis and to US$1.87bn on a seasonally-adjusted basis and excluding ships, aircraft and diamonds.Unlike in March, the data cannot be explained as offsetting the previous month’s trend; instead, April amplifies and confirms the fears we voiced regarding the March data, suggesting the underlying trend in goods’ trade has turned negative this year.


  • As in the budget data, so too in the trade data: because of the distortions stemming from Passover falling in March in 2013 and in April this year, comparisons between April alone are of limited value. It preferable to look at the period January-April as a whole.
  • The deficit for the first four months of the year, in both unadjusted and seasonally- adjusted measures, expanded by some US$900mn over the parallel period of 2013.
  • Imports are beginning to show some signs of weakness. The trend data show that after rising steadily until January 2014, all the main categories of imports — raw materials, consumer goods and investment goods — have turned down in recent months.
  • The same trend is apparent among exports — but it is more pronounced here. The weakness stands out in “medium-high” and “medium-low” sectors, in terms of their technological intensity.
  • High-tech exports have been volatile but, four months into 2014, it is clear that although the underlying level of these exports has been stable, the strong upward momentum of the second half of 2013 has been lost.
  • Ironically, low-technology industries continue to expand,  led by the textile sector.

Trade deficit,    Excl. ships,    aircraft,    diamonds and fuels  Trend data (Million $)

Trade deficit, Excl. ships, aircraft, diamonds and fuels
Trend data (Million $)



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About the Author

- About Pinchas Landau is an economic and financial analyst, serving as a consultant to major financial institutions in Israel and abroad on domestic and global developments. After working in banking and investment, he moved to journalism in 1983 and served as financial correspondent of the Jerusalem Post and then as senior columnist for Globes, Israel’s business daily. He has written for many international newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and Barrons, as well as numerous professional publications. Since 1996, Pinchas has been writing and publishing The Landau Report, a unique newsletter service which analyses economic, business and financial trends in Israel, as well as tracking Israeli and regional geo-political affairs and has attracted a global subscriber base. He has also been providing quarterly and annual reports on Israel for the Economist Intelligence Unit for 25 years. Landau is also an accomplished speaker, lecturing in English and Hebrew to audiences in Israel and overseas on a range of issues relating to Israel and the Jewish world. Born in London and educated at the London School of Economics, he and his family have been living in Jerusalem since 1976.

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