Tunisia’s trade deficit worsened by 897.6 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) during the first 7 months, compared with the same period last year.
According to indicators of the National Institute of Statistics (INS), the rate of coverage of imports by exports fell by 7.4 percentage points, from 78.4% during the same period in 2011 to 71% in 2012.
The INS attributes this increased deficit to the differences observed in the rate of development of exports compared to imports.
Tunisia’s exports, estimated during the first 7 months of 2012 at 15,575.5 MTD increased by only 3.7%, while imports recorded a significant rise of 14.6% to reach a value of 21,941.9 MTD (same period).
According to the same source, the increase in exports is explained by the growth of exports of agricultural and food products (2.5%), phosphates and derivatives (3.2%), energy (22.4%), mechanical industries (12.9%) and manufacturing industries (15.2%).
However, exports of electronic industries registered for the first time during this year, a slight decrease of 0.3% and the textile, clothing and leather continued to decline (-8, 6%).
Regarding imports, the INS attributed the (14.6%) increase recorded during that period to the increase in imports of food industries (13.4% against 38.7% in 2011), non-food consumer products (15.7% against 0.7% in 2011), raw materials (7.1%) and equipment (12.1%).
The INS has explained the deficit in foreign trade by the decline in imports from several countries including China (-1,276.7 MTD), and European partner countries such as Italy (-216. 5MTD), Germany (-126MTD) and Spain (-500.4 MD).
However, Tunisian exports to Libya and France increased by 770.2 MTD and 656.5 MTD, respectively.