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Tunisia: 2012 annus horribilis for phosphate production

The Gafsa Phosphate Company (CPG) has recorded a sharp decline in production in 2012, with two million six hundred thousand tons of commercial phosphate, down 60% compared with the average production in past years, i.e. an average of 8 million tons per year, an official of the CPG told TAP corresponding Monday.

The same source reported that sales of commercial phosphate under the year 2012 reached over 5 million tons, which exceeded sales in 2011 estimated at 3.5 million tons, indicating that sales in 2010 were around 7.5 million tons.

The company has managed to achieve the same level of sales during the previous year, despite the decline in production and this through the use of the stock of CPG in commercial and gross phosphate accumulated over the years, he also said.

He added that the company has prioritized the local market including the Tunisian chemical group notwithstanding the difficulties in phosphate loading to the commercial ports of Sfax and Gabes, noting that such an option has led to a sharp decline in exports of the phosphate company to foreign markets that had reached in the last year (2012), 100,000 tons against 800,000 tons for the year 2010.

The insecurity and social instability that prevailed in the Gafsa region over successive periods had a negative impact on the Tunisian Chemical Group’s production of chemical fertilizers of M’dhilla which did not exceed 287,000 tons, down 38%, against a normal production capacity of 460 thousand tons.

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