Tunisia’s trade deficit decreased by 23.7% during the first two months of 2015 (January and February) to reach 453.4 million dinars, and this for the first time since 1993, according to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce.
The trade deficit reached 1,458.5 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) at the end of February 2015, against 1,911.9 MTD in the same period in 2014, with an improvement in the coverage by 6.1 points, from 70, 2% in 2014 to 76.3%, according to Mr. Lotfi Khedhir, Adviser to the Minister of Trade.
This decrease is due to the 4.1% rise in exports in the months of January and February 2015 and the decline in imports by 4.2%, in contrast to rates in 2014, during which imports and exports grew by 8.3% and 2.7% respectively, and the trade deficit increased by 24.3%.
For 2015, the increase in exports is attributed particularly to the growth in olive oil revenues which rose from 45.4 MTD to 447.7 MTD and those of dates worth 20 million dinars.
Other sectors recorded an increase in their exports, such as leather and footwear (7.1%) and mechanical and electrical industries (9%).
The decline in the trade deficit, which was not recorded at the expense of raw materials, whose imports grew by 34% during the first two months of 2015, is due also to the drop in energy trade deficit by 38. 3 million dinars to 576.8 million dinars against 615.1 million dinars.
The trade deficit is still expected to fall provided certain factors are met, citing the recovery of the level of phosphate production and exports to reach the peak of production and marketing, in addition to improving the quality of products exported to fill the regression of the exchange rate of the Tunisian dinar.