The coverage rate of the food trade balance has dropped to 65.1% in January 2016 from 178% in January 2015, i.e. a deficit of 103.8 MTD, against a surplus of 151 MTD in January 2015, according to statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries released Thursday.
The decrease in the coverage rate of the food trade balance is due to the noticeable rise in imports by 53.5% on the one hand and the decline in export revenue by 44% on the other hand.
Fall in olive oil exports and rise in vegetables’
Exports of food products (44%) fell due to the 61% decline of olive oil revenue from 213 MTD in January 2015 to 82.5 MTD in January 2016, while prices have increased by 14%.
As for the export of sea products (fresh and frozen), citrus fruit and dates, they posted decreases of 38%, 29% and 13%, respectively.
However, the other food products recorded a 16% increase in value in the same period, including fresh vegetables, particularly tomato from projects using geothermal waters.
This is the same for canned food and other food preparations which posted a growth ranging from 16 to 20%.
Imports of some basic products rising
The value of food imports has reached nearly 290.4 MTD in January 2016, i.e. a rise of 53.5% compared to January 2015.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, this growth is due to the accelerated pace of import of some basic food products such as hard wheat (64 MTD in January 2016 against 20.3 MTD in January 2015), sugar (15.2 MTD against 1.4 MTD in the same period) and vegetable oil (+8%).