A spectacular fall, mainly due to the global health crisis and which “Does not reflect an underlying trend”, assures the Ministry of the Armed Forces: French arms exports fell by nearly 41% in 2020, according to an annual report submitted to Parliament on Tuesday 1is June.
“In 2020, the amount of order intake amounted to 4.9 billion euros”, – against 8.3 billion euros the previous year, according to this document to be officially published on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia (703.9 million euros), the United States (433.6 million euros) and Morocco (425.9 million euros) are among France’s biggest customers. last year.
“This result, down from previous years, is partly explained by the constraints linked to the global health crisis which pushed back several arms prospects to 2021, due to the suspension of commercial discussions and decisions of associated investment “, as well as by “The absence of major contracts exceeding 500 million euros for the year 2020”, insists the French Ministry of the Armed Forces in this report. However, this decrease, assures the ministry, which can boast of recent signatures of important contracts of sale of Rafale, to Egypt (30 copies for nearly 4 billion euros), to Greece (18 planes, of which 12 used) and Croatia (12 used Rafale).
The Europe zone represents for the second year in a row “The main destination for French exports” with 25% (15% for European Union countries and 10% for other European countries), the United Kingdom and Greece appearing among the top six French customers. Just behind, the Near and Middle East zone represents 24% of orders, against 22% for the Asia-Oceania zone, i.e. “A slightly higher share than that observed over the past three years”. Africa accounts for 16% of orders.
French arms exports had already fallen by nearly 8.6% in 2019, after particularly prosperous 2015, 2016 and 2018, boosted in particular by sales of Rafale fighter jets to Egypt and India. and Qatar.
Beyond the order intake, the amount of French armaments deliveries fell by more than half in 2020 to 4.3 billion euros, against 9.9 billion euros of armaments delivered in 2019. .