The monthly trade deficit recorded an almost stability, in July 2021, to 1409.3 million dinars (MD), from 1451.7 MD in June, according to the note on “Foreign Trade at current prices, July 2021, published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
The coverage rate lost 2.2 points to 72.2% in July 2021, compared to June 2021.
After a one-time rebound in June, trade declined again in July 2021, according to the INS note.
Imports dropped by 10.6% and exports fell by 13.2%. Trade is thus back below its pre-pandemic levels (February 2019).
Exports down sharply by 13.2
In July 2021, exports fell by 13.2% to 3,657 MD. The contraction has affected all sectors except the energy and lubricant sector which saw a rise of 15.4%.
The most significant decreases were recorded in the sector of mechanical and electrical industries (-16.7%) mainly under the effect of the fall of exports of wires and electric cables.
Exports of textiles, clothing and leather have, for their part, declined by 14.4% mainly due to the decrease in exports under the offshore regime (-13.5%).
The sectoral grouping “agriculture and food industry” also went down 17.3%.
Exports to European Union countries posted a decrease (-19.2%). This decrease has affected most countries such as France (-7.5%), Germany (-28.9%), Spain (-40.8%) and Italy (-15.5%).
It is the same for the AMU (-8.9%) and Russia (-43.2%). While Tunisian sales have increased with China (+13.9%) and with Turkey (+56.5%).
Imports drop 10.6%
The note of the INS stressed that after a remarkable acceleration in the previous month, imports have regressed by 10.6% to 5,066.4MD in July 2021, posting the largest percentage decline since April 2020.
This decline results from the contraction of imports of energy products -44.4% and the decrease in supplies of raw materials and semi-finished products -14.5% mainly metallurgical products.
However, purchases of food products and capital goods have slightly mitigated the overall decline by recording respective increases of 7.7% and 5.2%.
As for imports, trade in goods with the European Union, they went down with most countries in July 2021. Indeed, Tunisian purchases have declined with the countries of the European Union (-7.4%), China (-15.6%), Turkey (-32.4%), the AMU (-20.4%) and Russia (-72.6%).