The volume of Tunisian external trade exceeded 25 million dinars (MTD) in 2011 for exports, standing at a 6.7% rise compared with 2010, and 33.7 MTD for imports, i.e., more than 5.9% compared with 2010.
According to figures released by the National Statistics Institute, the coverage rate reached 74.5%, i.e., an improvement of 0.6 percentage point, against a widening trade deficit (311.9 MTD).
The rise in the volume of exports in 2011 was the product of steadiness of the various sectors’ growth rate, notably exports of farming and processed food produces (37.9%), electrical industries (20.4%), textile-clothing and leather and footwear (5.7%).
On the contrary, phosphate and by-products recorded a drop by 39.7%. Regarding imports, the 5.9% rise recorded in this period is due to the increase of farm produce and basic food stuffs (24.1%) and energy (26.4%).
Nevertheless, the imports of equipment products, minerals, phosphate and by-products were down by 7.5% and 3.5%, respectively. As to the geographic distribution of Tunisian exports, the European Union (EU) withholds nearly 76.4% of all exports (the equivalent of 19.163,7 MTD), thus achieving an 11.3% growth.
The value of products imported from EU amounts to 19,405 MTD, representing 57.6% of the total of imports. France and Italy are in the lead of Tunisia’s customers with respective shares of 30.7% and 21.6%, and suppliers (18.4% for France and 15.8% Italy). Libya is Tunisia’s fourth customer with exports worth 1,103.3 MTD.