Trade deficit widens by 378.2 million dinars in May (INS)
21/06/2021 15:47, TUNIS/Tunisia
(TAP) - The trade deficit widened by 378.2 million dinars to 1,554.1 million in May 2021, from 1,175.9 MD in April 2021, reads the monthly note on foreign trade of current prices, published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

The coverage rate fell 7.3 points in May 2021, compared to the previous month to 69.8%.

According to the INS, Tunisia's trade in May fell for the second consecutive month, recording levels 6% lower to those before the pandemic.

Exports went down 9.5%. This decline is the largest since the beginning of the year. It has affected all sectors except the agriculture and agro-food industry which posted a 9.4% rise.

The decreases observed in the exports of the mechanical and electrical industries sector (-14.0%) and those of the textile and clothing sector (-12.4%) have contributed to the overall decline.

Similarly, exports of the energy sector and those of the mining, phosphates and derivatives sector dropped by 10% and 4.7% respectively.

Regarding imports, they stagnated for the second consecutive month. The 9.0% increase under the offshore regime is offset by a decrease under the general regime (-4.4%).

According to the INS, this stability in imports is due to a dynamic in the supplies of raw materials and semi-finished products (+ 8.9%) as well as of capital goods products ( + 10.8%) offset by a sharp drop in purchases of food products (-26.4%) and energy products (-11.7%).

Excluding energy, imports saw a slight rise of 1.8%.

Trade with European Union countries deteriorates

Exports to European Union countries dropped by 7.9%, due to the decline in sales to the main European partners such as France (-4.6%), Germany (-12, 9%) and Spain (-11.4%).

Exports to China, Turkey and Russia also declined -58.4%, -65.6% -19.5%, respectively.

However, Tunisia recorded a recovery in its exports to Italy (+ 5.2%).

On the other hand, imports stagnated with the EU countries (+ 0.4%), while purchases were on the rise from China (+ 2.5%) and Turkey (+10 , 3%), and down with Arab Maghreb countries (-14.5%) and Russia (-45.1%).
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