The exports of all agricultural and food products dropped by 11.2%, during the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, compared to the same period of the past year, falling from 11,846.4 MD to 10,514.9 MD, indicates a note published by the National Observatory of Agriculture (Onagri).
According to this note devoted to the exports of agricultural and food products during Q1 of 2020 against the coronavirus, food exports recorded an increase of 10.3%, up from 1,342.7 M DT to 1,481.0 M DT. Food exports accounted for 14.1% of the total exports.
This rise is mainly related to the increase in the rate of olive oil exports which almost followed the production growth rate, as well as that of tomatoes.
However, the exports of fishery products, dates and citrus fruits suffered declines. Those of citrus fruits are rather linked to the drop in production, according to Onagri.
Export prices were down by 36.9% for olive oil and 9.1% for citrus fruits compared to the same period in 2019.
On the other hand, those of fishery products and tomatoes were up by 20.8% and 13.4% respectively.
Thus, the observatory points out, the values of olive oil and tomato exports recorded high growths, respectively of 42% and 37%.
The same is true for fishery products, which recorded an increase of 5.4%.
On the other hand, export values fell by 5.9% for dates and by 28% for citrus fruits.
During the first quarter of the year, the map of Tunisian agricultural and food exporters did not change much compared to the same period in the previous year.
About 50% of the value of Tunisian exports are from Spain and Italy, followed by Libya, USA and Morocco.
Olive oil exports to Spain edged up considerably while date exports to Morocco and Saudi Arabia dropped, Onagri said.
Spain, Italy and the US have the biggest share of exports even in March. It seems that olive oil exports have not been affected by the crisis.
Regarding dates, Morocco followed by Indonesia and Malaysia have remained for the second consecutive year, the first importers of Tunisian dates (around 50% of the value of Tunisian exports)
Yet a decline in the value of date exports to the US (more than half) was recorded as well as to Morocco and France.
On the other hand, Tunisian exports of seafood to Japan were up compared with a clear decline in the imports of these products by Italy and Libya, Saudi Arabia, which is due to the effect of the Covid-19 on the first and the policial instability for the second.
Tunisian exports of vegetables during the Q1 of 2020 were stagnant compared to the same period last year (81 MD).