Tunisia’s trade deficit has dipped slightly from 8,599.4 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) in 2015 to 8,253.5 MTD in the first eight months of 2016, with a small upturn in exports 1.2%, to 18,570.9 MTD and a decrease in imports by 0.5%, to 26,824.4 MTD, according to latest statistics from the National Institute of statistics (INS).
The export – import coverage ratio has improved 1.1 points to 69.2% in 2016.
The increase in exports in the first eight months of 2016 is due to improved exports of phosphate and its derivatives which went up 79.5% thanks to rising exports of phosphoric acid.
This is the same for the exports of mechanical and electrical industries and textile and clothing that grew 13.8% and 6.9%, respectively.
In contrast, exports of agricultural and food products fell by 34%, following the drop in olive oil revenue (541.9 MTD) and falling energy exports (-46.6 %).
The decrease in imports is due to the sharp decline in the energy sector purchases by 30.3%, following the drop in crude oil purchases and the decrease in imports of agricultural products especially durum.
However, imports of raw materials, phosphate, semi-manufactured goods and consumer products