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Tunisia: foreign trade bounces back in June

Trade bounced back remarkably in June 2021, after two consecutive months of decline, surpassing its pre-pandemic levels (February 2020). This acceleration is characterized by a stronger pace for exports (17.1%), than for imports (10%) compared to May 2021, according to a note on Foreign Trade at current prices, June 2021, published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) Monday.

Thus, the balance of the first half of the year, compared to the corresponding period of 2020, shows a conspicuous increase by 27% for exports and 23.3% for imports. However, these levels remain similar to the values recorded in 2019.

The monthly trade deficit for June 2021 went down by 102.4 MD, to 1451.7 MD. The coverage rate gained 4.5 points to 74.4%, compared to May 2021

Exports recover by 17.1%

In June, exports jumped by 17.1% to 4,215.1 MD, exceeding pre-pandemic levels (February 2020) by 10%, therefore closing the first half on a positive note.

At the sectoral level, and with the exception of agricultural exports and those of food industries offshore which recorded a decline of 33.8%, all other sectors have experienced increases in their exports, both under the general regime and the offshore regime. These are the sectors of mining, phosphates and derivatives (+55.4%), energy and lubricants (+38.7%), textiles, clothing and leather (+18.4%) and that of mechanical and electrical industries (+15.1%) which recorded the largest contribution to the overall increase, and whose rebound is driven mainly by the export of wires and cables.

Imports too

After two months of stagnation, imports are picking up pace and are again on an upward trend. They have therefore rose by 10% to 5666.8MD in June.

This increase comes from several groups of products. Indeed, increases are observed in the imports of energy products (+27.3%), including crude oil, supplies of raw materials and semi-finished products (+8.1%), mainly metallurgical products. The recovery has also involved the purchase of food products (+37.6%) and consumer goods (+8.3%), especially passenger vehicles and spare parts.

The EU still in the lead

Exports to European Union countries posted an increase of 12.9%. This increase has affected most countries such as France (+2%), Germany (+41.1%), Spain (+5.4%) and Belgium (+55.1%). The same is true for China (+18%) and Russia (+5.5%). While sales have declined with Italy (-2.3%).

For their part, imports grew with most countries. Indeed, purchases have increased with the European Union countries (+2.5%), China (+4.7%), Turkey (+24.3%), the AMU (+60.8%) and Russia (+86.2%).

Coverage rate to 73.8%

Exports increased by 8% in the second quarter of 2021, compared to the first quarter of 2021. Similarly, imports increased by 8.9%.

The quarterly trade deficit widened during the second quarter to 4181.6 MD. The quarterly coverage rate lost 0.7 points compared to the first quarter of 2021 to 73.8%.

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