Tunisia’s trade deficit goes up

14 de junho de 2016

Tunis – Tunisia’s trade deficit increased 9.46% in this year’s five first months in comparison to the same period of 2015, reaching TND 5.135 billion (USD 2.4 billion), according to data released by the National Institute of Statistics (INS, in the French acronym).

The deficit increase was caused a 2.6% fall in exports and a 0.8% increase in imports. The deficit was especially strong in the energy and foodstuff trade balances.

China is Tunisia’s main supplier and registered a surplus of TND 1.505 billion (USD 696 million) in its trade balance with the Arab country in the first five months of 2016. Tunisia recorded significant deficit also with Turkey, Russia and Germany. Tunisia recorded a surplus in its trade balance with France and Libya.

Within exports, sales of agricultural products and foodstuff fell 36.7%. However, shipments of phosphates and by-products increased 86.6%. The performance was boosted mainly by external sales of phosphoric acid.

On the other hand, imports of inputs, capital and consumer goods went up. The highlight was the increase in purchases of auto, essential oils and plastic products.

However, purchases of products from the agricultural and energy sectors declined, despite the increase of the trade deficit in these areas.

Sales to the European Union dropped, but went up to Turkey and France. Imports from the EU also declined.

Within the Maghreb, sales Algeria went up, but there was a decline in shipments to Libya and Morocco.

To Brazil, Tunisia exported USD 16.6 million from January to May, according to data from the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC). It’s a decline of 35% over the same period of 2015. The main products traded were superphosphates, aluminum fluoride, electronics parts and olive oil.

On the other hand, Brazil’s exports to Tunisia amounted to USD 95.4 million, a decline of 30% in the same comparison. The main products shipped were sugar, coffee, soybean oil, tobacco and land levelers.

The trade balance between both countries is registering a surplus of USD 78.7 million towards Brazil.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani