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Tunisia: trade deficit worsens in January

Tunisia’s trade deficit nearly doubled between January 2011 and January 2012, up from 559.3 million dinars (MTD) to 1009.3 MTD, according to statistics published, Thursday, by the National Statistics Institute (INS).

This January 2011 to January 2012 regression, according to INS, was the consequence of the sharp drop of the energy exports (-66.9%) and phosphates and by-products (-67.8%), the

fall in oil exports -71%, (72.8 MTD against 249.8 MTD in 2011) and the decline of exports of phosphoric acid by -93% (3 MTD against 43.8 MTD) and the absence of raw phosphate exports which, in January 2011, had stood at 7.5 MTD.

The value of the overall exports reached 1776.3 MTD (+2.6%), while imports recorded a significant rise of 21.6 %, reaching 2785.6 MTD.

Consequently, the coverage rate of imports by exports fell 11.8 points, to reach 63.8%.

According to the INS, the slight progress of exports, in January 2012, is mainly due to the rise of the farm and food industry exports (+42,2%), as well as electrical industries (+33.7 %), textile, clothing and leather (+17.5%) and other manufactured industries (+32%).

With regard to imports, their progress is a result of the rise of imports of equipment products (+29.4%), consumer products (+35.6%), semi-manufactured products (+24.8%) and

energy (+11.4%), while phosphate and steel imports were down 33.2 %.

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