Tunisian exports rose 4.5% during the first half of 2012, to 13,488.8 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) against 12,909.8 MTD, recorded during the same period of 2011.
During the first half of 2012, imports increased by 14.8%, reaching a value of 18,957.6 MTD, compared with 16,507.1 MTD, in the first half of 2011.
According to indicators published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), the observed differences in the rate of growth of exports compared to imports has resulted in the widening of the trade deficit with a value of 975 MTD and a regression of the coverage rate of 7 percentage points, from 78.2% to 71.2%.
Still in comparison with the first half of 2011, the INS explained the increase in exports in the first half of 2012 (4.5%) by the growth in foreign sales for all sectors including agriculture and food products (7.5%), energy (19.9%), mechanical industries (13.8%) and manufacturing industries (18.1%).
However, exports of textiles, apparel and leather fell by 7.2%. It is noteworthy that exports of phosphates and derivatives fell by 1.5% in the first half of 2012, f.
Regarding imports, the INS attributed the increase (14.8%), during that period, to rising imports of energy (40.1% against 21.1% in 2011), raw and semi industrial materials (7.4% against 9.3% in 2011) and equipment and materials (10.7% against 11.9% in 2011).