The trade deficit has narrowed to 7,567.1 million dinars (MD) by late July down from 11,163.8 MD in the same period last year, figures of the National Institute of Statistics show.
This drop in the trade deficit followed a decline in exports (-19.5%) and a decrease in imports (-23.2%), the INS said.
The trade balance deficit is largely explained by the deficit recorded with some countries, such as China (-3085.9 MD), Turkey (-1,166.4 MD), Algeria (-1,206 MD), Italy (-434.3 MD) and Russia (-572.8 MD).
On the other hand, the trade balance recorded a surplus with other countries, mainly with France (2,030.8 MD), Germany (626.7 MD), Libya (613.4 MD) and Morocco (197 MD).
Excluding energy, the trade balance deficit went down to 4,908.3 MD, the INS said, stressing that the deficit of the energy balance stood at 2,658.8 MD (35.1% of the overall deficit) against 4,167.3 MD during the same period in 2019.
The coverage rate gained 3.5 points compared to the same period of 2019, to 74% from 70.5% during the same period of 2019.
During the seven months of the year 2020, exports posted a 19.5% decrease against a 13.2% increase during the first seven months of 2019.
Exports stood at 21,496.3 MD against 26,703.4 MD during the same period of 2019.
The decrease in exports affected several sectors; the textiles, clothing and leather sector went down 24%, mechanical and electrical industries’ saw 25.4% decrease, energy’s fell 11.1 and phosphates and derivatives’ declined 4.5%.
However, the agriculture and agro-food industries sector recorded an increase of 10.7%, following higher sales of olive oil (1505.6 MD against 866.3 MD in 2019).
Tunisia’s exports to the European Union (73.3% of total exports) fell by 20.9%.
This recession is explained by lower exports to some European partners, such as France (- 29.6%), Germany (-27.4%) and Italy (-16, 9%).
However, sales saw a growth to other countries, in particular Spain (+ 40.4%) and Greece (+ 2.5%).
For the Arab countries, exports fell with Algeria (-37.7%), with Egypt (-18.8%), with Morocco (-25%) and with Libya (-16.5%).
Imports saw a 23.2% drop, against a 12.9% increase during the seven months of 2019, with imports reaching 29,063.4 MD, against 37,867.2 MD during the same period of 2019.
The drop in imports is mainly due to lower imports of capital goods (-29.8%), raw materials and semi-finished products (-22.6%), consumer goods (-20.7%) and energy (-29.6%), under the effect of the decrease in purchases of refined products (2,055 MD against 3,533.8MD) and natural gas (1,411.1MD against 2,112.8 MD).
Imports from the EU (48.6% of total imports) went down 28.9% to 14,127.7 MD. Imports fell 34.1% with France and Italy and 29.5% with Germany.