The trade deficit has narrowed by 2,006.1 million dinars to 6,099.9 million dinars at the end of May 2020, from 8,106 million dinars during the five months of 2019, according to data published Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics.
The deficit is largely due to the one recorded with some countries such as China (-2,094.6 MD), Turkey (-893.4 MD), Algeria (-859.5 MD), Italy (-523.3 MD) and Russia (-446.3 MD).
On the other hand, the trade balance recorded a surplus with other countries mainly with France (1,228.6 MD), Germany (334 MD), Libya (382.3 MD) and Morocco (172.7 MD).
The coverage rate gained 0.3 points compared to the same period of the year 2019 to 71% from 70.7% during the same period of 2019.
INS said exports recorded a 23.8% drop during the first five months, against a
15.1% increase during the same period of 2019.
They reached 14,921.4 MD against 19590.2 MD during the same period of 2019.
The drop observed in export affects several sectors. Indeed, the textiles, clothing and leather sector contracted by 33.3%, the mechanical and electrical industries by 30.1% and the mining, phosphates and derivatives sector went down by -7.8%.
On the other hand, the agriculture and food-processing industries sector recorded a 6.6% rise, following the increase in olive oil sales (1,129.5 MD against 687.3 MD) as well as the energy sector whose sales improved by 6.8%.
As for imports, they recorded a decrease of 24.1% against an increase of 17.1% during the five months of 2019.
In value, they reached 21,021.3 MD against 27,696.2 MD during the same period of 2019.
This drop is explained by the decline seen in all sectors, in particular, capital goods -31.3%, raw materials and semi-finished products -24.1%, consumer goods -24.1% and energy -25.1%. This was under the effect of the decrease in the country’s purchases of refined products (1,662.4 MD vs. 2,621.5 MD) and natural gas (1,053.2 MD vs. 1,606.5 MD).
Decline in exports to EU
Tunisia’s exports to the European Union (72.1% of total exports) decreased by 26.1%.
This decrease is explained, on the one hand, by the drop in exports to some European partners, such as France by 37.9%, Germany by 33.8% and Italy by 20.9%. On the other hand, sales remain on the rise to other countries, notably with Bulgaria by 62.3% and Spain by 42%.
With the Arab countries, exports decreased by 39.5% with Egypt, by 25.3% with Morocco, by 27.2% with Libya and by 29% with Algeria.
As regards imports, trade in goods with the EU (47.3% of total imports) fell by 31.3% to 9,933.4 MD.
With the countries of this group, imports decreased by 36.1% with France, by 33.3% with Italy and by 30.7% with Germany.
Deficit by regime
By regime, trade is in deficit by 9501.3 MD (-13502.7 MD during the five months of the year 2019) under the general regime.
On the other hand, trade is in surplus by 3,401.4 MD under the offshore regime (+5396.7 MD during the five months of 2019).
The results show that the deficit of the trade balance excluding energy has lowered to 4,106 MD and that the deficit of the energy balance stands at 1,993.9 MD (32.7% of the total deficit) against 3,132.6 MD during the same period in 2019.