The food trade balance posted a deficit of 884 MTD in the first ten months of 2016, i.e. 8.2% of the overall trade deficit, against a surplus of 143.3 MTD in the same period last year.
The coverage of imports by exports stood at 71.1% against 104.6% in the same period in 2015, the Agriculture Ministry said in a press release Tuesday.
This is due to a 33.1% drop in the value of food exports in comparison with 1.5% in imports.
Food exports were down 33.1% in the first ten months of 2016 as a result of olive oil export
receipts falling to 663 MTD from 1786 MTD in 2015 (- 63%) and exported quantities decreasing from 286,000 tons to 88,3 tons currently (-69%) and a 15% drop in the value of pasta exports.
Meanwhile, the exports value of most food products edged up in this ten-month period, namely fresh seafood products (5%), canned vegetables and fruits (8%), fresh vegetables (34%), particularly tomatoes (23,8 thousand tons against 11,3 thousand tons) and potatoes (3,284 tons against 490 thousand tons), as well as dates (3%) reaching 383 MTD in over 80 export markets.
The value of food exports until October accounted for 9.3% of total exports in comparison with 14.3% in the same period last year.
The value of imports of some food products stood at 3,058.8 MTD, i.e. a 1.5% drop in comparison with the same period in 2015.
The value of imports for some foodstuff decreased as a result of international prices going down, as it is the case for durum wheat (-20%), common wheat (-3%) and sugar ( -21
The imports value of other food products showed an upward trend, namely potatoes (+24%) and canned fish (42.6 MTD against 9.3 MTD), because of the rise of prices and increasing imported quantities.
The value of food imports accounted for 8.9% of total imports compared to 9.4% in the same period last year. Referring to these figures, the trade balance is projected to post a coverage rate of 72% in 2016 against 98% in 2015.