What exactly was being traded? A little bit of everything. The Phoenicians were best known as traders of Phoinix. This was a purple dye that came from the crushing of a particular shellfish that washed ashore near Lebanon. These were small and many were required to produce enough dye to be useful. Thus, this dye was expensive. There are very few naturally occuring sources of purple. The grape lends a certain hue, but the royal purple and the rosy purple color is rare indeed. Only rich and powerful people could afford to purchass this dye and thus it has become the traditional color of royalty in Europe.
Cedar Trees were also in abundunce.
These were hewn from the Lebanese Mountains. It is possible to find
timbers sold by Phoenician merchants in as distant a place as Zimbabwe.
The trees were large and often traded to desert civilizations were timber
would not grow naturally. The Egyptian navy was made almost exclusively
from this wood and timbers the giant logs that were used to build ships
then cannot be found in the forest today. We simply do not have the
large trees that were available to the ancients. They have been cut
and no longer exist today.