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Tunisia抯 food trade deficit widensWednesday, August 17, 2016 > 09:16:31
The country saw a USD 182 million deficit from January to July, down from a USD 170 million surplus through July 2015.
Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP)*
Tunis – Tunisia saw a food trade deficit of 402.4 million dinars (USD 182.2 million) from January to July, down from a surplus of 372.6 million dinars (USD 170.5 million) through July 2015, as per a statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries. The 2015 surplus came as a result of an abnormally high olive oil output.
Tunisia’s food exports plummeted by 37% as a result of a 66% drop in olive oil exports, an 85 drop in pasta exports, and a 7% drop in fresh and frozen seafood exports. Conversely, foreign sales went up for fresh produce (33%), especially tomato and potato. Fish preserve exports also climbed, while date sales remained flat.
Food products made up 9.8% of the country’s total exports, down from 15.5% through July of last year. The food trade deficit accounted for 5.8% of Tunisia’s overall trade deficit until July of this year.
Imports fell 8%, driven by weaker purchases of sugar, vegetable oils, dairy products and durum wheat. On the other hand, imports went up 17% for potatoes, 19% for seafood and 31% for bananas. Food imports made up 8.6% of total imports in the first seven months of this year, as against 9.3% a year ago.
Tunisia bought USD 102.6 million worth of agribusiness products from Brazil through July, down 47% from a year ago. Tunisian agriculture and livestock products exports to Brazil reached USD 3.7 million, up 14%.