The Israeli economy's exports, excluding diamonds, increased by 6% in July and August compared to the two previous months, according to figures released by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI).
Israel's total export values during that period stood at $7.7 billion.
Part of the increase stemmed from a sharp rise of 23% in the drug industry's exports. Excluding drugs, Israel's exports increased by just 3%.
The IEICI noted that despite the increase, the volume of exports of goods (excluding diamonds) in July-August was about 2% lower than the average volume of exports in the second half of 2012, and that exports excluding medications were about 3.5% lower than the average volume of exports in that period.
Nonetheless, there are a number of positive aspects: Agricultural exports recorded a 19% increase after a 9% drop in May-June, totaling $110 million. The export of polished diamonds recorded a 14% increase compared to the previous two months, following a sharp drop of 46% in May-June, totaling $650 million.
The export of electronic components and computers was up 4.5% (after a 4% increase in May-June), totaling $945 million. The export of communication, control, medical and scientific equipment (the core index of high-tech) increased by just 1%, after a 5% drop in May-June, totaling $1.2 billion.
Aircraft exports recorded a 17% growth, after a 2% decrease in May-June, totaling $330 million.
Rise in industrial exports
In industrial exports, chemicals (excluding medications) recorded a 9% rise, totaling $1.3 billion. The export of machinery and equipment rose 13%, totaling $535 million. The export of electrical equipment increased by 5%, amounting to $205 million.
However, a number of other important industries registered drops in their export volumes in July-August compared to May-June: Mineral exports fell 3%, totaling $425 million. Metal exports dropped by 9%, totaling $385 million. Rubber and plastic exports recorded a 3% decrease, totaling $280 million.
The export of food and beverages dropped 4%, totaling $155 million. Textile exports fell 5% to $130 million.
According to IEICI Chairman Ramzi Gabbay, "These figures don't point to a change of trend, as the increase was mainly affected by an unusual rise in drug exports."
Gabbay further noted that despite the rise in exports in the past two months, a standstill is expected in the overall export of goods in light of the crisis in Europe and the global economic slowdown."