Trade with Libya

Libya’s economy remains very dependent upon oil production. (According to the CIA World Fact Book, oil revenues accounted for 95% of the export earnings, 25% of Gross  Domestic Product and 80% of Government Revenue.)  Over the past few years, Libya has worked to normalize relations  with the Europe and the United States, while also seeking to attract foreign direct investment in its energy sector. (President Bush signed an Executive Order which ended economic sanctions against Libya in 2004.)  When oil prices fell in 2009, the Libyan  economy suffered, as well as many large scale infrastructure projects. At the same time, Libya’s lack of industry and other sectors, has contributed to the nation’s high structural unemployment, despite many efforts by the Libya Government to diversify the economy.
Despite the current political upheavals, Libya largely trades with Europe (its larger trading partner is Italy which accounts for almost 40% of Libya’s trade, which is not surprising given its historic ties). In comparison, the U.S. receives roughly 5% of the country’s exports.

For the U.S., trade with Libya equaled roughly 2.8 billion dollars of trade in 2010. Imports from Libya amounted to $2.1 billion dollars, but 97% of the import value was crude petroleum and other petroleum products. In 2010, the U.S. exported 665 million dollars, most of which was vehicles and parts for industrial equipment.

For the Southeast, total trade with Libya equaled 418 million, a sharp decline from the large import shipments of petroleum. Exports to Libya reached a record 154 million, a 16% increase from 2010, mostly from increased shipments of cereals. (Libya imports roughly half of their foodstuffs.)  Part of the sharp rise and decline in petroleum imports in the Southeast was driven by the high price of petroleum in 2008.  (As Libyan crude is sweet (low sulfur, easy to refine) it is somewhat of a premium on the market, especially for low sulfur fuels, etc.)  The spike in the Southeast was largely the result of imports rising in 2008, and collapsing in 2009.  While net imports declined throughout the U.S., references in New Jersey and Texas were able to better recover some of the lost import volumes.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.