Tunisia’s trade deficit widened further at the end of November to reach a new historical record of 17.3 billion dinars.
The National Institute of Statistics (INS) released on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 the results of Tunisia’s external trade at current prices during the eleven months of the year 2018.
Indeed, exports have increased by 19.9% against 17.3% during the same period in 2017 to 37.12 billion dinars, against 30.97 billion a year earlier.
Similarly, imports maintained a significant growth rate, posting an increase of 20.1% against 19.2% during the eleven months of the year, for a value of 54.45 billion dinars, against 45.33 billion during the same period in 2017.
Following this development, the trade balance stands at 17.32 billion dinars against 14.36 billion dinars during the same period in 2017, up 20.7% or 2.97 billion dinars.
The rate of coverage, meanwhile, recorded a slight decrease of 0.1 point from the end of November last year to 68.2%.
Exports saved by the agriculture sector
The growth observed in exports (+ 19.9%) during the eleven months of 2018 concerns the majority of sectors.
In fact, the agriculture and agri-food industries sector recorded a significant increase of 53.0%, following the rise the country’s olive oil sales (1.953 MD vs. 734.3 MD) and dates’
(657.3 MD vs. 488.3 MD).
The manufacturing sector grew by 25.0%, the energy sector by 20.4%, the textile, clothing and leather sector by 18.2% and the mechanical and electrical industries by 14.4%. .
On the other hand, exports of the mining, phosphates and derivatives sector continued to fall by 4.9%.
Imports growing steadily
The increase in imports by 20.1% is mainly due to the rise recorded in all sectors.
Energy went up by 38.4%, raw materials and semi-finished products by 21.9%, mining, phosphates and by-products by 17.6%, capital goods by 17.0% and basic agricultural and food products by 8.9%. Non-energy imports grew 17.6%.
A record deficit
At the end of November, the balance of the trade balance shows a deficit of 17.32 billion dinars following the deficit recorded with some partners, such as China (-4.960 billion), Italy (-2.542 billion), Turkey (- 2.088 billion), Algeria (-1.308 billion) and Russia (-1.282 billion).
On the other hand, the balance of the trade balance registered a surplus with other countries mainly with France of 3.150 billion dinars, Libya with 959.3 million and Morocco with 291.9 million.