The trade balance deficit hit a record level of 19,408.7 MD throughout the year 2019, against 19,022.9 MD in 2018, according to data published on Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
This deficit was recorded particularly with some countries, such as China (-5852.2 MD), Algeria (-3038.2 MD), Italy (-2667.6 MD), Turkey (-2466.8 MD) and Russia (-1403.3 MD).
On the other hand, the trade balance recorded a surplus with other countries mainly, France at 3778.2 MD, Libya at 1376.5 MD and Morocco at 410.3 MD.
Excluding energy, the trade balance deficit stood at 11652.2 MD. The energy balance deficit stands at 7756.4 MD, i.e. 40% of the total deficit against 32% in 2018 and 26% in 2017.
The coverage rate gained one point in 2019 compared to the year 2018, standing at 69.3% against 68.3% one year earlier.
The increase observed at the level of exports (+7%) during the year 2019 concerns the majority of sectors.
Indeed, increases were recorded in the mining sector, phosphates and derivatives by 21.3%, mechanical and electrical industries by 12.3%, the textile and clothing and leather sector by 4.2%, the energy sector by 3.9% and other manufacturing industries by 12.2%.
On the other hand, the agriculture and food-processing industries sector saw a 13% drop, following the decrease in olive oil sales (1386.9 MD in 2019 against 2125 MD in 2018).
As regards the 5.4% increase in imports, it is due to the rise observed in most sectors.
Indeed, imports went up by 19.6% for energy products under the effect of the increase in natural gas purchases (3691.6 MD against 2173 MD).
Similarly, imports increased by 9.5% for capital goods and by 0.9% for basic agricultural and food products.
On the other hand, imports recorded decreases of 9.5% for mines, phosphates and derivatives and 2% for raw materials and semi-finished products.
Tunisia’s exports to the European Union (73.9% of total exports) grew 7.7%. This evolution is due to the increase of national exports to some European partners, such as Germany (+14.6%), Italy (+8.8%) and France (+6.2%).
In addition, Tunisia’s sales are decreasing with other European countries, especially with Spain (-19.6%) and the Netherlands (-7.5%).
With the Maghreb countries, exports increased with Libya by 20.4%, with Morocco by 15.4% and with Algeria by 3.7%.