Tunisia’s trade deficit of recorded a slight decrease during the first two months of 2013, reaching 1,538.2 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) against 1,632.8 MTD, during the same period of 2012, According to statistics published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
The coverage rate has increased by 2.6 percentage points from its level last year to 74.1%.
This deficit resulted, according to the INS, from a 7.3% increase in exports during the first two months of 2013, reaching a value of 4,394.7 MTD while imports rose 3.6% (5,932.9 MTD). The INS does not specify the exchange effect on these figures.
According to the same source, the growth in exports is explained by the rise of exports in most sectors, mainly agriculture and food industries (32.4%), mining, phosphates and derivatives (8.1%), mechanical and electrical industries (4.3%), textile / clothing and leather (3.8%) and other manufacturing industries (14.7%).
In contrast, exports of energy posted a slight decrease of 1%.
With regard to imports, the INS attributed the increase recorded in this area (3.6%) during the first two months of 2013, by rising imports of most sectors, mainly foodstuffs (31.7%), capital goods (4.9%) and non-food consumer products (8.6%).
In contrast, the results show a 15.5% decline in the growth rate of energy imports.
Regarding the geographical distribution of trade, Tunisian exports to the European Union (EU), which account for approximately 74.5% of the overall exports, posted a 7% growth, particularly thanks to improved sales to its main European partners: The Netherlands (159.9%), Spain (77.4%) and Belgium (25.5%).
Similarly, Tunisia has achieved a performance in its exports with countries such as Russia (138.1%) and Turkey (129.1%).
However, Tunisian exports to France and Italy declined by 5.9% and 8.3%, respectively. They also fell with some Arab countries, mainly Libya (3.7%), Algeria (1.4%) and Egypt (5.9%).
Regarding imports, trade of goods with the EU (56.8% of overall imports) rose 6.2%, i.e. the equivalent of 3,370.1 MTD.
France and Italy top the list of suppliers of Tunisia with respective shares of 19.4% and 15%.
Imports to these countries posted increases of 10.3% and 18.8%, respectively, during the first two months of 2013.