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Chemical Industry

Lebanon’s chemical sector has undoubtedly advanced and matured over the years, positioning itself as a major player in the regional market. Abundant opportunities are available in the sector ready to be exploited in particular opportunities in the high added-value chemical production that can serve niche global markets. Production in the Chemical industry in Lebanon is mainly concentrated in plastics, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers and soaps.

 

INDUSTRY IN NUMBERS:

 

  • The Gross Value-Added of the chemical industry stood at USD 437 million in 2017.
  • Chemical companies account for 13% of the total industrial firms in Lebanon, comprising 633 companies.
  • More than 60% of chemical companies are located in Mount Lebanon and more than 10% in the Bekaa.
  • 37% of companies in the Chemical sector manufacture Plastics followed by Paints and Derivatives (16%) and Soaps and its Derivatives (15%).
  • Exports stood at USD 417 million in 2017, accounting for 16% of total industrial exports.
  • The leading exporting countries are Iraq (14%), UAE (13%) and Saudi Arabia (10%).
  • Manufactured Plastic Products are the 3rd largest Lebanese exports.
  • Imports stood at USD 1.62 billion in 2017, accounting for 9% of total industrial imports.
  • The leading importing countries are Germany (12%), France (9%) and United States (8%).

 

MARKET OPPORTUNITIES:

 

  • Reconstruction of Syria: There are huge opportunities to tap into the Syrian market especially for the paint and plastics industry as they are important input for the upcoming infrastructure and construction boom.   
  • Regional Construction Sector: The chemical sector can benefit from increasing demand in the Gulf countries for construction materials mainly plastics primarily driven by infrastructure investments, economic transformation plans and tourism related projects.
  • Development of Downstream industries: Lebanon signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production agreement in 2018 with drilling expected to start in 2019. This will create new opportunities for the development of downstream industries including plastics, fertilizers and other petrochemical products.

 

*Sources: Lebanese Customs, Ministry of Industry

CHEMICAL INDUSTRY FACT BOOK 2016
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