Dairy has remained resilient despite Lebanon’s economic crisis, a reflection of its status as the backbone of Lebanon’s agriculture sector. In some regions, dairy production accounts for 60% of all economic activity and this has spurred international donors and NGOs to support the sector.
The adverse socioeconomic situation in Lebanon stabilised somewhat during 2023 despite the continuous deterioration of the country’s economic and financial situation. A re-dollarisation of the Lebanese pound and domestic financial markets resulted in some improvement being seen in commercial activity in the private sector.
The Lebanese are generally very enthusiastic consumers of a wide range of dairy products and dairy consumption is part of everyday life for the majority of the country’s population. As such, per capita sales of cheese, labneh, laban and milk are high and all of these products form a key part of the everyday diets of a high proportion of the Lebanese’s population.
Lebanon’s economic collapse continued to build over the course of 2023. Hyperinflation resulting from the collapse in the exchange value of the Lebanese pound against the US dollar and other benchmark currencies has made the cost of basic necessities very difficult to bear for the majority of consumers.
Lebanon’s deeply rooted infrastructure issues have been further exacerbated with the onset of the economic and social crisis. Power cuts that were already common have become total blackouts that can last for weeks and even months.
The ongoing economic and social crisis will undoubtedly remain the most important factor influencing dairy products and alternatives to Lebanon during the forecast period. In particular, importers and manufacturers are expected to continue facing huge challenges due to fluctuations and anomalies in the exchange rate between the Lebanese pound and the US dollar, among other benchmark level currencies, and this is set to result in huge price increases for imported products as well as a dramatic rise in the cost of various inputs, raw materials and packaging materials required to manufacture products locally, resulting in higher unit prices across the board.
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Dairy Products and Alternatives
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