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.
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).