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Tunisia: Textiles and clothing exports post slight increase

Tunisian exports in textiles and clothing rose slightly to 3.75% in value and imports kept almost stagnant with 0.91% in value to February 2013,compared with the same month the previous year, according to the latest Economic Letter (March 2013) of the Textile Technical Centre (CETTEX).

Thus, the balance of trade in the textile and clothing Tunisia gained 4.3 points in February 2013 and increased from 153.4% in February 2012 to 157.7% this month.

The latest report of CETTEX revealed that the combination of the first two months of 2013 reported a 2.2% rise in the sector’s exports and 3.9% in imports, compared to the first two months of 2012.

Exports reached a total of 448 million dinars, or 215 million Euros to February 2013. The analysis by sector shows an increase of 4.26% for clothing and 0.73% for textiles.

As for imports, they posted a slight increase in value (0.91%) against a 3.68% decline in volume (tons).

Regarding the analysis of Tunisian exports by market, the balance of February 2013 reported a deterioration in the markets of Belgium and Italy, while other traditional markets of Tunisia recovered in value and volume. For example, exports to Turkey totaled 3.12 million dinars against 23 thousand dinars in 2012.

For knitwear, the decline in exports was mainly due to the decline of the Italian market which alone holds 50% of exports in this sector.

With regard to the textile industry, all sectors have been affected in February 2013 in respect of exports to Tunisia’s traditional customers except for weaving accessories branches which posted increases of 17.91% and 57% in value, respectively.

Out of a total of seven branches in this area, only three recorded increases in terms of imports. They are fibers with 24.57% in value, off denim fabrics with 6.21% and fabrics for technical use with 1.36%.

However, imports of yarn, denim fabrics and mesh fabrics suffered losses in value of 10.27%, 6.21%, 12.32%, respectively. For clothing, the balance shows a quasi-stagnation of 0.25% in value.

Among leading textiles and clothing providers of Tunisia, China is among countries that posted increases with 13.88% and 19.72% in value volume alongside Turkey (44.33% and 28.74%) and Spain (0.09% and 0.69%). However, the French, Italian and Indian markets posted declines in the value of exports to the Tunisian market of 8.94%, 9.84% and 11.67%, respectively.

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