Tunisia’s Food trade balance recorded, in January 2015, for the first time since 2009, a surplus of 151 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) against a deficit of 157.7 MD in January 2014.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, food exports reached a value of 344.8 MTD in January 2015, against imports of about 193.7 MTD, i.e. a coverage (imports by exports) rate estimated at 178%.
In January 2014, export-import figures were almost reversed with 303.1 MTD for exports and 145.4 MD for imports, which corresponds to a coverage rate of 48%.
This improvement is attributed, according to the Department of Agriculture, to the increase in olive oil revenue (213MD, against 22.6 MD) following the export of 37,000 tonnes against 3,700 tonnes in January 2014, and this despite the 6% drop in prices of that product.
It is also explained by the 51% increase in the value of exports of dates, 31% rise in the export of preparations of vegetables and fruit and the 5% growth in citrus export.
In terms of fresh and frozen fishery products, pastry and fresh vegetables exports decline 13%, 8% and 21%, respectively.
The Ministry explained the 36.1% decrease in the imports of food products in January 2015, compared to January 2014 by the reduction of imports of some commodities such as durum wheat (70%), barley (50%), milk and its derivatives (11%), sugar (94%) and potatoes (7%).