Tunisia’s trade deficit decreased 8.9% in the first half of 2015, i.e. 596 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) while it had widened by 1,174 MTD (21.1%) in the same period in 2014.
Special Adviser to the Ministry of Trade Lotfi Khedhir told TAP this decline in the deficit is the most significant in value in the period between 1993 and 2015, reaching 6,131 MTD against 6,727 MTD in the first half of 2014.
Khedhir noted that the initial results of foreign trade show an improvement of 2.7 points in the rate of coverage of exports by imports compared with the same period in 2014 to 70.2% at the end of June 2015 against 67.5% at the end of June 2014.
The official explained the reduction recorded in the trade deficit and the improvement in the rate of coverage by the 3.4% increase in exports to 14,436.9 MTD against 13,963.2 MTD in the first half of 2014, on the one hand and the decline in imports by 0.6% to 20,567.9 MTD against 20,690.2 MTD (same period), on the other hand.
Khedhir explained this rise in exports by the growth of those of the agriculture and food industries’ sectors (119%), essentially olive oil.
The food products group recorded a trade surplus of 379 MTD in 2015, making an improvement in the first five months of 2015 to 183.2 MTD.
Similarly, the sector of electrical industry rose 5% and that of various industries increased 9.4%. This performance is essentially due to the double-digit increase in both sectors in June 2015 by 12.2% and 21.9%, respectively.
Khedhir noted that the group of primary products and semi-manufactured goods resumed its growth pace at end of June 2015, recording a growth of 4.6% in imports against 3.5% in the same period in 2014.