The food trade balance recorded a deficit of 222.4 million dinars (MD), until the end of July 2020, the National Observatory of Agriculture (ONAGRI) said in its monthly newsletter released Monday.
“Compared to July 2019, the deficit of the food trade balance has decreased by 578.9 MD,” said ONAGRI.
Exports reached 3049.9 MD, while imports amounted to 3272.3 MD.
Therefore, the coverage rate of imports by exports reached 93.2%, posting a 2-point drop compared to June 2019.
This fall in the coverage rate is explained by the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a slowing down of exports (12.2%), and a drop in citrus fruits exports (37.5%), fishing products (25.4%), as well as dates exports (8.5%), against an increase in exports of olive oil (73.8%) and tomatoes (17.3%).
This situation has favored a 6.8-point increase in the share of food exports in the overall volume of foreign trade, to 14.2% in July 2020.
The share of food imports also went up 2 points compared to July 2019, to 11.3%, despite a decline by 7% in its value compared to the same period of the previous year.
Imports of grain rose by 3.9% in value terms and by 9.5% in quantity.
As for other imported food products, the share of these products in total imports recorded a decrease in quantity and value, with the exception of potatoes, whose imports rose by 20.4% in value and 10.2% in quantity.