Enjoying well-being, most of the Lebanese were used to periodically change their mobile phones (even if only few months have passed since their launch), sell the old ones and purchase new phones at high prices. This is what increased the mobile phone import bill to USD 177 million in 2019, before dropping to USD 93 million in 2020, a decline of USD 84 million or 47.5%. The following table shows the value of mobile phones imported during 2015-2020, with the highest value recorded in 2019 (USD 177 million). What is noticeable is the increase of import value from an annual average of about USD 29 million during 2015-2017 to USD 129 million in 2018 and USD 177 million in 2019. We do not know the reason behind this rise, but it might result from the high global prices and massive purchases of phones or from smuggling them out of Lebanon. 

A table showing the value of mobile phones imported into Lebanon (2015-2020).

Source: Information International, based on the Lebanese Customs.

Note: This cost does not include the smuggled phones.

The next article will be about “coffee consumption in Lebanon 2019-2020”.