The flow of trade between Tunisia and foreign countries at current prices reached 4,512.9 MTD at export during the first two months of 2014 against 4,394.7 MTD, during the first two months of 2013, and 6,424.8 MTD at import against 5,932.9 MTD, during the first two months of 2013, according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
These exchanges have registered an increase of 2.7 % in exports and 3.2 % in imports compared to the same period of 2013.
Following this development, the trade balance deficit stood at -1,911.9 MTD in January 2014 while it amounted to 863.2 MTD in January 2014 (1?538.2 MTD during the first two months in 2013) and the coverage rate has lost 3.9 points from its level last year to 70.2% (74.1% in 2013).
Under the offshore regime, exports and imports maintain the same pace as last year. Indeed, under this regime, exports grew by 4.3 % against 4.9 % in the same period in 2013 and imports kept the same rhythm with a rate of +5.3 %.
Under the general regime, exports fell 0.2 % against +12.0 % during the same period in 2013 while imports rose 9.6 % against 3.6 % in the same period in 2013.
The increase in the level of exports (2.7 %) is mainly due to the 14.2% growth in the energy sector resulting from the increase in Tunisia’s sales of refined products (295.9 MTD against 149.1 MTD), and the mining sector, phosphates and derivatives (+15.4 %), manufacturing sector (+16.9%), the sector of mechanical and electrical industries (+7.1%) and textiles and clothing and leather (+3.0 %).
In contrast, the area of agro- food industries declined by 36.4 % due to the decrease in sales of olive oils by 79.7 % (45.4 MTD against 224.1 MTD).
For their part, imports grew by +8.3 % due to the 51.7% increase recorded in energy 51.7 % resulting from a rise in Tunisia’s crude oil purchases (261.3 MTD against 147.0 MTD) and natural gas (319.5 MTD against 95.3 MTD). Moreover, the imports of raw materials and semi-raw products increased by 3.5 %.
Conversely imports declined 2.3 % for goods and 3.2 % for consumer goods other than food and 1.1 % for food products.
According to the geographical distribution of trade, Tunisian exports to the European Union (73.8 % of total exports ) recorded a slight increase of 1.6 %, due, on the one hand, to the rise in exports to top European partners such as Germany +25.1 %, Italy +12.6 % and France +2.8 % and, on the other hand, the decline in sales with other European clients such as the Netherlands (-22.9 %), the United Kingdom (-14.0 %) and Spain (-41.9 %).
Similarly, good performance was recorded in sales to other countries such as Russia +31.1 % and China +35.3 %. However, exports fell with some countries such as Libya and Turkey by 28.0% and 34.9%, respectively.
For imports, the trade of goods with the EU (53.6 % of total imports) grew by 2.2%. They were up 50.2 % with the United Kingdom and 11.6 % with Italy.
In contrast, imports fell by 2.3 % with Spain, 4.0% with Germany and 4.9% with France.
Finally, the balance of trade balance recorded a surplus with countries mainly with France, top partner, with 153.2 MTD, the Netherlands with 159.0 MTD and Libya 140.3 MTD.
However, the balance of trade balance recorded a deficit with other countries such as Spain -124.5 MTD, Italy -167.2 MTD and china of -442.9 MD.