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Tunisia: exports fell 7.7% in July

Tunisian exports fell by 7.7% in July 2011, compared to the same month in 2010. This is explained by the regression of oil exports by 44% and those of phosphates and derivatives of 59.4%.

Mr. Lotfi Kédhir, Director General of the Observatory of Foreign Trade (Ministry of Trade) told TAP the growth rate of exports which was 13.8% from January to June 2011, went down to 10.2% at the end of July 2011.

Regarding the off-shore regime, the increase in exports of the mechanical and electrical engineering was limited to 4.2% in July while it was 22.2% in the first half of 2011.

This deceleration is the result of the fall in car sales in Europe from 16.8% in March 2011 to 1.5% in June of that year.

This was the same for the exports of textile and clothing and leather and footwear whose growth was limited to 2.1% in July against 12.2% in the first half of this year, because of the start of the sales season in France, which affected orders for Tunisia.

Trade performance

Regarding the results of foreign trade in the first 7 months of this year, Mr. Lotfi Kédhir noted that the value of exports reached 15,022 MTD against 13,627.7 during the same period of the past year (10.2%).

Imports increased by 3.2% during the same period to 19,149.2 MTD against 18,557.2 MTD in 2010.

In light of these results, the trade deficit decreased by 16.3% to reach a value of 4,127.1 MTD against 4,929.5 MTD in 2010. The coverage rate has improved by 5.1 percentage points, reaching 78.4% until the end of last July against 73.4% during the same period of 2010.

Growth in food sales

External sales of the agricultural sector and food industry increased in the first 7 months of 2011, reaching a value of 1541.6 MTD (+ 39.1%) including 260.4 MTD for the only month of July due to the flow of exports to Libya.

Yet, exports of phosphates and derivatives have declined from 26.4% to 818.7 MTD (1.8 million tons).

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