Tunisia’s trade deficit has once again widened last October to reach a record of 15.98 billion dinars in the ten months of the current year, according to data published Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS). Throughout 2017, the trade deficit reached 15.6 billion dinars.
The hedge rate has edged down 0.2 points from 10 months in 2017 to 67.5%.
Indeed, exports increased by 20.2% to 33.2 billion dinars against 27.6 billion during the same period in 2017.
Similarly, imports maintained a significant growth rate, registering an increase of 20.5% for a value of 49.2 billion dinars against 40.8 billion during the same period in 2017.
The increase observed at the level of exports during the ten months of 2018 concerns the majority of the sectors.
Indeed, the agriculture and agribusiness sector recorded a significant increase of 59.5%, resulting from higher sales of olive oil (1,815 MD vs. 641,3 MD), dates ( 582.5 MD vs. 420.2 MD), the manufacturing sector 25.5%, the textile-clothing and leather sector 19.0%, the mechanical and electrical industries sector 15.1% and the energy sector by 8.2%.
On the other hand, exports of the mining, phosphate and derivatives sector remained down 5.7%.
The increase in imports of 20.5% is mainly due to the growth recorded in all sectors.
Energy rose by 38.4%, raw materials and semi-finished products by 22.2%, mining, phosphates and by-products by 19.2%, capital goods by 17.6% and basic agricultural and food products by 9.1%. Non-energy imports increased 18.0%.
Tunisia’s exports to the European Union, accounting for 73.2% of total exports, grew 18.3%. This trend is explained by the increase in Tunisia’s exports to certain European partners, such as Spain 54.1%, Germany 23.3% and France 16.3%.
On the other hand, sales are down to other European countries including the United Kingdom by 9.1%. With the Arab countries, exports increased with Egypt 46.6%, Morocco 39.2% and Libya 29.0%. On the other hand, exports to Algeria fell by 3.7%.
For imports, trade in goods with the European Union (53.2% of total imports) has risen by 20.1% to 26.2 billion dinars. Imports increased by 27.0% with Belgium, 23.1% with Italy and 15.2% with France.
Deficit by country
The trade balance shows a deficit because of the deficit recorded with certain partners, such as China (-4.48 billion dinars), Italy (-2.4 billion), Turkey (-1.8 billion) Algeria (-1.18 billion) and Russia (-1.17 billion).
Record energy deficit
The deficit of the trade balance excluding energy is 10.8 billion dinars, knowing that the deficit of the energy balance has widened to reach a record of 5.13 billion dinars (32.1% of the total of deficit) against 3.34 billion dinars during the same period in 2017.