Tunisia: Food Trade Deficit Down 69% in First 11 Months of 2018

Tunis/Tunisia — In the first eleven months of 2018, the food trade deficit recorded a noteworthy rise in the rate of coverage of imports by exports to 412.5 MD against 1,338 MD in 2017, a decline in the food trade deficit by 69%.

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, food exports up to November 2018, reached 4,377 MD, up 57.4% compared to the same period in 2017 and this due to the duplication of exports of olive oil in quantity (208 thousand tons against 76 thousand tons) and in value (1,954MD against 734 MD) in addition to the rise in the fresh products of fisheries (32%) and dates (35%).

The sales value of fresh vegetables edged up 30% to 158 MD and the value of citrus exports 9% and canned fish 31%.

Tunisia has, until this period, exported about 35.4 thousand tons of fruits for a value of 89 MD, an increase of 49% in quantity and 53% in value compared to the first 11 months of 2017.

The value of food exports up to November 2018 represented 11.8% of the total exports compared to 9% in the same period of 2017.

The value of food imports during the same period reached 4,789.5 MD, that is up 16.3% compared to 2017, due to the deterioration of the value of the Tunisian dinar and the development of the value of the food imports of some staple food products such as durum wheat (+ 20%), soft wheat (+ 23%) and barley (+ 65%).

Besides, other food products experienced a decline in value, including maize and vegetable oils, with rates of 16% and 20%, due to the drop in the quantities imported in addition to sugar (+ 15%), knowing that staple food account for 68% of total food imports compared to 76% in 2017.

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