Tunisia’s food balance deficit reached 1,338 million dinars (MD), or 9.3% of the trade deficit in the first ten months of 2017, compared to 947.5 MD during the 2016 period, due to the continued rise in imports of basic foodstuffs by 21.8%.
The Ministry of Agriculture concluded that Tunisia has experienced, during the 11 months of 2017, an increase in purchases of most basic food products and the rise in their prices internationally, in addition to the continued decline in the dinar exchange rate against foreign currencies.
Tunisia’s sugar imports increased by 91%, vegetable oils (76%), coffee and tea (91%), milk and derivatives (82%) and durum wheat (18%).
The pace of imports of other non-basic food products, such as bananas and food preparations also rose by 39% and 11%, respectively.
Thus, the rate of coverage of imports by exports reached 67.5% against 72% during the same period of 2016, according to data published Tuesday by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The increase in food imports, which amounted to 4,119.3 MD, reached 76% for commodities against 69% during the first 11 months of 2016.
As for Tunisian exports of food products, they reached 2,781.4 MD, up 14.2% compared to the same period of last year.
Export revenue from dates increased 12% to 488 million dinars, including 11% of organic dates.
Exports of seafood and pasta grew 37%, 26% and 17%, respectively.
In spite of the drop in export volumes, olive oil revenues fell slightly by 2% to $ 634 million, due to the 26% increase in international prices, knowing that exports of organic olive oil accounted for 42%, of total quantities, the equivalent of 310 MD, while exports of certain other varieties of fruit provided revenue of 60 MD.
Exports of certain food products declined during the same period, as did citrus fruits and canned fish, by 16% and 23% respectively, despite the increase in production