Itongadol.- In comparison with the same time period the previous year, Israel\’s non-diamond exports rose only 1% in dollar terms.
Israel’s exports continued to stagnate in the first quarter of 2014, according to figures the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute released Wednesday.
In comparison with the same time period the previous year, Israel’s non-diamond exports rose only 1 percent in dollar terms, led mostly by pharmaceutical and electronic components.
Once those fields, dominated by two large companies (Teva and Intel), were removed from the picture, the remaining sectors registered a 2% drop.
Diamonds aside, pharma, electronics and chemicals (dominated by Israel Chemicals) represent nearly half of all Israeli exports, and the dollar value of their exports grew 5%.
Of the $12 billion of exports in the quarter, $2.1b. came from pharma (a 17% increase over the first quarter of 2013) and $1.1b. came from electronic exports (a 7% increase over the first quarter of 2013).
Chemical exports, on the other hand, fell 4% to $2.5b., the first drop after four straight quarters of growth.
All the remaining sectors combined produced $6.3b. of exports. Agriculture exports, for example, dropped 12%.
Export Institute chairman Ramzi Gabbay said the trend portended trouble for Israel’s economy, and called on the government to bolster export support. Every additional $3b. in exports equate with 27,000 jobs and a 1.5% increase in business productivity, he said.