Energy balance may further deteriorate over next few months (BCT) | Tunisia News Gazette

Energy balance may further deteriorate over next few months (BCT)

“The energy balance, whose deficit has become structural and exorbitant, may further deteriorate in the coming months in connection with the rise in oil prices that have went beyond $ 75 a barrel,” reveals the analysis of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) on Tunisia’s trade in the 1st quarter of 2018 (T1) published Thursday.

The deficit widened by 199 MTD to -1.382 MTD, while the balance of consumer goods registered a surplus of 254 MTD after having recorded successive deficits since the second quarter of 2015, specifies the document.

Faced with this situation, the BCT is calling for the need for lower domestic production of energy products, the establishment of an energy efficiency programme that revolves around the diversification of sources; in this case the exploitation of renewable energies (solar, wind, etc …), the rationalisation of consumption and the acceleration of investments in the fields of exploration and development.

According to the same document, the effective recovery of production and marketing of phosphatic products becomes imperative in order to preserve foreign markets and consolidate foreign exchange flows.

“There is a need to address the slippage of imports of non-essential products through continued momentum to rationalise consumption, including imported and unnecessary products that have no input into national value chains,” says BCT.

It also calls for an efficient approach to remove obstacles hindering the conquest of the Libyan market and those of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa (financing facilities, insurance and transport …)

The analysis of the BCT also shows a contraction of the trade deficit which remains high, despite the strong expansion of olive oil exports and the continued good sales performance of the manufacturing sectors.

“The trade deficit registered a contraction of 5.8% or 224 MTD compared to the same period of 2017, returning to 3,655 MTD representing 3.4% of GDP (against 4% of GDP a year earlier) “specifies the document.

/// Adjustment of the food balance

The analysis of the evolution of the trade exchanges, during the Q1 2018, shows a strong recovery of the balance of food which generated a surplus of 223 MTD, against a deficit of -384 MTD, during the same period of 2017, mainly following the increase in sales of olive oil of 543 MTD to 777 MTD.

/// Geographical distribution of total exports in the first quarter of 2018

According to the document, the EU remains the 1st destination of Tunisian exports, especially for sales of industrial products (74.4%), against a regression on the part of the Arab Maghreb (AMU) countries in Tunisian exports in relation with the decline in those destined for Algeria (-26.8%) and the rise in the share of Asian countries in connection with the growth of exports to countries in this zone, notably China (215 MTD against 17 MTD in the first quarter of 2017).

Russia (-22.2%), Turkey (+ 25.5%) and China (+31.1) continue to be Tunisia’s main suppliers of mining products, raw materials and consumer goods.

Source: TAP News Agency

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