Trade balance shows deficit of 1,568.3 MD in January 2019 (INS)
10/02/2019 14:58, TUNIS/Tunisia
(TAP) - The trade balance showed a deficit of 1,568.3 million dinars (MD) in January 2019, following the deficit recorded with certain countries, such as China (-507 MD), Turkey (-250 MD), Algeria (-168.2 MD), Russia (-155.2 MD) and Italy (-95.4 MD), according to the latest statistics published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

The coverage rate decreased 1.2 percentage points from January 2018 to 70.9%, compared with 72.1% a year ago.

On the other hand, the trade balance registered an excess with other countries mainly with the country’s top partner, France (319.5 MD), Libya (88.2 MD) and Morocco (39.1 MD).

The deficit in the energy balance stands at 466.9 MD (29.8% of the total deficit), against 353.7 MD during the same period in 2018.

Excluding energy, the deficit of the trade balance is reduced to 1,101.4 MD.

Much larger increase in imports than exports

The results of Tunisia's external trade at current prices during the month of January 2019 show, as usual, a much larger increase in imports than in exports.

Thus, imports went up by 24% during the month of January, reaching a value of 5,383.8 MD, against 4,341.2 MD in January 2018.

For their part, exports increased by 21.9% to 3,815.5 MD, from 3,129.5 MD in January 2018.

This increase concerns the majority of sectors, those of mines, phosphates 74.0%, manufacturing 46.6%, mechanical and electrical industries 29.6%, energy 18.4% and textiles and clothing and leather 16.3%.

In contrast, agriculture and agro-food industries, one of the main export sectors, fell by 10.3%, resulting from lower sales of olive oil (145.5 MD against 236.2 MD).

Regarding national imports, the increase is due to the growth observed in all sectors, 38.8% for capital goods and 26.6% for energy products, under t he effect of higher purchases of natural gas (249.2 MD against 153.7 MD) and refined products (493.2 MD against 432.5 MD).

Similarly, imports of raw materials and semi-finished products grew 10.4%, those of basic agricultural and food products went up 6%, and mines, phosphates and derivatives rose by 1.2%.

Tunisia’s exports to EU edge up 24.3%

The geographical distribution of trade shows that Tunisia’s exports to the European Union (73.5% of total exports) increased by 24.3%, following higher exports to some European partners, such as Italy (+ 48.2%), Germany (+ 28%) and France (+20.4).

In addition, Tunisia’s sales are down with other countries in particular, with the Netherlands (-36.2%) and Spain (-11.3%).

With the Arab countries, exports grew with Algeria by 69.4%, Libya by 103.8% and Morocco by 2.6%.

For imports from the European Union (50.7% of total imports), they went up by 14.2% to 2,731.2 MD. Imports increased by 50.2% with Italy and 6.1% with France.

According to regimes, trade showed deficit under the general regime by 2,646.4 MD (-1967.2 MD in January 2018), and surplus under the offshore regime by 1,078.2 MD (+755.5 MD in January 2018).

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