The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI) reported that preliminary export figures analyzed by its economic unit indicate that exports were flat for the second year running.
According to the IEICI, exports of goods and services, excluding start-ups, totaled US$92.5 billion in 2013, the same as in 2012. Diamond exports, however, totaled US$9.0 billion in 2013, up 8% compared to 2012.
Excluding the sale of start-ups, exports of services totaled US$31.0 billion in 2013, 4% more than in 2012. Exports of services including the sale of start-ups totaled US$33.5 billion in 2013, up 8% compared to 2012.
Exports to the USA totaled US$10.2 billion, down 5% compared to 2012. In 2013 exports to the USA constituted 22% of Israel's total exports. Exports to the EU totaled US$15.3 billion, up 8% compared to 2012. Exports to Asia totaled US$10 billion, up 4% compared to 2012.
Export Institute chairman Ramzi Gabai noted that the preliminary data for 2013 reflect the difficulties Israeli exporters faced from the increasing erosion of their competitiveness in foreign markets caused by the strengthening of the Israeli shekel during the year.
In a press release Gabai noted that "We hope that, in 2014, the decision-makers at the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Israel will make every effort needed to stem the steady strengthening of the shekel against the basket of currencies, after the exchange rate hit a ten-year low."