The results of Tunisia’s foreign trade at current prices during May 2020 show a sharp drop in exports at -37.1% year-on-year (-48.9% in April), following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) Thursday.
The same is true for imports, which recorded a 34.5% decrease compared to the same month in 2019 (-46.8% in April).
INS said this is a sharp contraction in trade for the third consecutive month due to lockdown measures.
In value, exports reached 2,400.1 million dinars (MD) against 3,813.9 MD in May 2019 (2,634.5 MD as May average since 2010).
This fall mainly affected the off-shore sectors, namely the textile/clothing and leather sector and the mechanical and electrical industries sector whose exports dropped respectively by 32.4% and 49.8%.
In the same way, the exports of “other manufacturing industries” contracted by 49.6%, those of mining, phosphates and derivatives by 17.8% and those of energy by 8.4%.
On the other hand, exports by the agriculture and agro-food industries sector grew by 16.4%.
By geographical area, the decline affected almost all the main European partners, particularly France (-44%), Germany (-57%) and Italy (-36%).
The same trend was observed in some Arab countries such as Algeria (-57%), Libya (-48%) and Morocco (-31%).
Imports also recorded a 34.5% decrease compared to the same month in 2019 (-46.8% in April).
In value, they reached 3,655.5 MD, against 5,583 MD in May 2019. This drop is mainly due to the regression observed at the levels of energy (49.3%), capital goods (41.8%), raw materials and semi-finished products (37.1%), consumer goods (33.5%) as well as mining and phosphate products with a rate of 77.9%.
According to the geographical breakdown, the drop in imports is explained by the decrease in our purchases from almost all of the country’s European suppliers, such as France (-48%), Germany (-52%) and Italy (-49%), as well as from other countries such as Russia (-94%), China (-13%), Morocco (-60%) and Egypt (-64%).