The food trade balance recorded a deficit of 1793.7 MD, at the end of July 2022, against a deficit of 1081.0 MD during the same period of 2021. This has resulted in a decline in the coverage rate to 66% in 2022, according to the monthly newsletter of the National Observatory of Agriculture (ONAGRI), for the month of August.
The share of the deficit of the food balance in the deficit of the overall trade balance (-13708.3 MD, in 2022) went up by 0.7 percentage points, compared to the same period last year, rising to 13.1%.
In terms of value, food exports grew 29%, while imports increased by 39.5%.
The deficit recorded is essentially the result of the increase in the pace of imports of grain (+48.7%), vegetable oils (+73.2%) and sugar (+41.5%) and this despite the increase in olive oil exports (+33.2%), whose average price has seen a noticeable improvement of 32.1%, to 10.58 DT / kg.
The most worrying is the increase by 89.7% of the import price of durum wheat compared to last year. It is the same for the price of vegetable oils (+60.8%) and sugar (+40.6%).
In general, the prices of grain products (soft wheat, barley and corn) saw a rise ranging between 44% and 60%. The increase was 60.1% for barley, 59.4% for soft wheat and 44.2% for corn. This increase is mainly linked to the impact of the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Export prices witnessed a less significant growth, with an increase by 32.1% for olive oil, 12.4% for fishery products and 12.1% for citrus compared to the same period last year. On the other hand, the prices of tomatoes and dates have dropped by 4.6% and 3.4% respectively.
Food exports accounted for 10.7% of total national exports and food imports accounted for 11.4% of total imports.
A wave of deficits
It should be noted that the deficits in the food trade balance are only one after another. During the month of June 2022, it was 1559.7 MD against a deficit of 806.9 MD during the same period of the previous year, thus recording a coverage rate of 66.9% in 2022 against 75.1% in 2021.
In terms of value, food exports had, however, recorded an increase of 29.7% while imports went up 45.5%.
The deficit recorded is mainly the result of the increased pace of imports of grain (+48.6%), sugar (+141.0%) and vegetable oils (+70.1%) and this despite the increase in olive oil exports (+34.0%).
A clear improvement in the average price of olive oil (10.60 DT / kg) recording an increase of 34.1% compared to the previous year.
The price of durum wheat recorded an increase of 90.2% compared to last year. The prices of other grain products (soft wheat, barley and corn) have recorded an increase ranging between 44% and 55%, this increase is mainly related to the impact of the war between Russia and Ukraine.