The trade balance in Tunisia recorded a deficit estimated at 3,316 million dinars (MTD) from January to April 2012, up 38.8% over the same period in 2011.
According to statistics released Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), the import coverage rate by exports fell by 5.1 points from 77.3% in late March 2012 to 72.2% in late April.
Indeed, the INS revealed a rise in imports of 13.4% to 921.5 MTD 11, and exports by 6% to 8,605.5 MD, for the first four months of 2011.
The increase in exports between 2012 and 2011 is due to higher foreign sales of most sectors including mainly the agricultural and food products (+ 18.7%), energy (12.6%), engineering (16.3%) and other manufactured goods (18%).
For the first time since the second quarter of 2011, exports of phosphates and derivatives increased by 21%. By cons, exports of textiles, clothing and leather, were down -6.7%.
With regard to imports, their increase (+13.4%) was due to increased purchases in all sectors including, raw and semi-manufactures materials (+8.1%), capital goods (16.8%) and non-food consumer products (16.9%).
Due to the improved weather conditions in later this year, imports of food products fell by -6.8%, due to reduced imports of grain and particularly of soft wheat (- 65.4% ). A more detailed analysis of exchanges shows that in the “wholly exporting” regime, a deceleration is observed in the growth rate of exports (+2.5% over four months in 2012, against an increase of + 20% in 2011).
This results from a continuous decrease in exports of textiles, clothing and leather, on the one hand, but, also, the slower pace of growth in exports of electrical industries in the months of April (+1.5%) and March 2012 (4.2%), on the other.
Similarly, imports fell by – 0.8% against 18.2% in 2011.
In the general scheme, imports grew by 20.9% and exports were up 12.9% (against 0.3% and – 3.1%, respectively, in 2011).