export of goods, excluding diamonds, totaled $7.4 billion in April-May 2011 – a 3.5% drop compared to a 5.5% rise in the past six months, the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI) reported last week.
According to IEICI CEO Avi Hefetz, this is the first drop recorded in export volumes since August-September 2010, when exports fell by some 8%.
He noted that despite the drop in recent months, it's too early to determine a change of direction in exports, as the export figures for April-May were still 5% higher than the export volumes in December-January, and about 10% higher than the export volumes in October-November.
The drop in export volumes compared to the two previous months is evident in all industries: The high-tech industries recorded a 3.3% decrease. Excluding medicine exports (which went up by 16% to $1.3 billion), high-tech exports saw a sharp drop of 8.3%, teaching $2.1 billion.
The export of communication, control and medical-scientific equipment recorded a 4% drop in April-May compared to previous months, as did the export of electronic components, which fell by 4.5%, and the export of aircraft which saw a sharp decline of 30%.
Exports in the mixed-elite industry dropped by more than 10% in April-May compared to the two previous months, totaling $2.1 billion. The exports in the mixed-traditional industry recorded a 4% drop in April-May compared to the two previous months, totaling $1.2 billion.
Export volumes in the traditional industry sector remained unchanged compared to the two previous months, totaling some $356 million.
An analysis of the export figures according to trade blocs shows a negative trend in exports to the United States in April-May, which totaled some $1.9 billion – a 7% drop compared to the previous two months.
On the other hand, exports to European Union countries were up 12%, totaling some $2.7 billion. The growth trend continued in exports to Asian countries with a 3% rise, totaling $1.4 billion. The rest of the countries recorded a sharp drop of close to 22%.