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HomeNewsTunisia: food trade balance deficit widens by 50% at end December 2022

Tunisia: food trade balance deficit widens by 50% at end December 2022

The food trade balance posted a deficit of 2,920.2 million dinars (MD) at the end of December 2022, up 50% compared to 2021 (1942.1 MD), the National Observatory of Agriculture (ONAGRI) said on Friday.

The coverage rate stood at 67.4% against 70.2% in 2021.

This deficit results from an increase in the value of food imports of 37.5%, coupled with a 32% rise in food exports’. This is due to a significant increase in imports, particularly of sugar, vegetable oils, durum wheat and soya cake.

The increase is essentially linked to the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war on global commodity prices, according to ONAGRI.

The value of food imports reached 8,954 MD, or 10.8% of the overall imports. The value of grain imports went up 33.4% at the end of December 2022, compared to the end of December 2021, reaching 4,552.3 MD.

The share of grain imports in food imports hit 50.8% at the end of December 2022 against 52.4% in December 2021. Wheat imports amounted to 2,757.2 MD, or 60.6% of total grain imports.

Wheat prices increased as the average import price of durum wheat rose 56.1%, while the average import price of soft wheat rose 50.2%.

Imports of vegetable oils have also soared 122.3%, to 1,397.9 MD while their average import price is up 49.7%.

Moreover, the imported quantities of sugar climbed 48.6%, whereas prices increased 52.4% compared to 2021.

Food exports, which progressed at a slower pace, stood at 6,033.8 MD at the end of December 2022, against 4,569.6 MD at the end of December 2021, representing 10.5% of the total exports.

Olive oil exports grew 46.2%, to 2,501.4 MD (41.5% of overall food exports against 37.4% in 2021).

The trade balance saw a 25,216 MD deficit, at the end of 2022, against 16,210.7 MD in 2021.

This deficit is due to the increase of imports by 31.7% to 82,789.2 MD, against a 23.4% rise of exports to 57,573.2 MD.

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