The Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute reported on 29 December that Israel’s diamond exports fell 25% in 2015, exports of goods were down 7.5%, and exports of services were down 3%.
Israeli exports totaled US$45.7 billion in 2015, down 7%, compared with 2014. The Export Institute predicts a 2% rise in exports in 2016. An analysis of the data shows a continuation of the downtrend in exports that began in 2012. Exports of both goods and services fell, and the only positive point was high-tech exports, which rose against the general trend.
In a breakdown by geographic region, Israel exports to the European Union totaled US$13.6 billion in 2015, compared with US$15.3 billion in 2014, and accounted for 30% of Israeli exports.
According to the Export Institute, the dollar value of exports to this destination was affected last year by declines in the euro-dollar exchange rate and plummeting global oil prices. The Export Institute stressed that exports of chemicals and refined oil products account for one quarter of all goods exported to this trading bloc, and were greatly affected by oil prices on global markets.
Israel’s next largest export destination in 2015 was Asia with a total of US$11.4 billion, amounting to 25% of Israeli exports. A substantial proportion of the rise in exports to Asia can be attributed to US chip giant Intel, which does its manufacturing in Israel, among other places. Economists said that accelerated exports of components, mainly to China and Vietnam, strongly affected exports to Asia.
Israeli exports to the US were up slightly to US$10.8 billion. Exports to Africa, on the other hand, fell from US$1.3 billion in 2014 to US$1 billion in 2015. Exports to Latin America were also down, totaling US$1.8 billion, 28% less than in 2014.
The Export Institute attributes the steep decline in exports to the continent to a 20% slide in exports to Brazil, which is suffering from a prolonged economic crisis; the steep devaluation of the local currency; and a similar decrease in exports to Mexico.