Tunisia’s trade deficit narrowed by 5.72 billion dinars to 10.78 billion at the end of the first 10 months of the current year, compared to 16.5 billion at the end of October 2019, an improvement of 34.7%, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics Wednesday.
This evolution results from the combined effect of a 20.9% drop in imports and a 14.7% decline in exports.
Indeed, the value of imports reached 42.1 billion dinars at the end of last October, against 53.2 billion a year earlier, while the value of exports amounted to 31.3 billion dinars, against 36.7 billion.
In this respect, the coverage rate has increased by 5.4 points compared to the same period in 2019 to 74.4%.
The decline observed in exports (-14.7%) during the first ten months of 2020 has affected the sectors of textiles, clothing and leather (-15.8%), mechanical and electrical industries (-18%), energy (-20.6%) and mining, phosphates and derivatives (-21.3%).
On the other hand, the agriculture and food-processing industries posted a growth of 15.3%, following the increase in olive oil sales to 1.97 billion dinars, compared to 1.1 billion a year earlier.
The drop in imports of (-20.9%) is due to the decline in imports of capital goods (-26.2%), raw materials and semi-finished products (-18.4%), consumer goods (-17%) and energy (-35%) as a result of the decrease in the country’s purchases of refined products to 2.8 billion dinars, against 5.4 billion in 2019 and natural gas to 1.95 billion, against 3.2 billion.
Moreover, the trade deficit is still largely explained by the deficit recorded with some countries, such as China (4.4 billion dinars), Turkey (1.7 billion), Algeria (1.6 billion), Italy (569.6 million dinars) and Russia (774.7 million).
On the other hand, the balance of trade recorded a surplus with other countries, mainly France (2.9 billion dinars), Germany (991.5 million dinars) and Libya (895.8 million).
The results show that the trade deficit excluding energy is reduced to 6.98 billion dinars. Therefore, the deficit of the energy balance stands at 3.8 billion dinars (35.3% of the total deficit) against 6.3 billion during the same period in 2019.