Slight improvement of trade balance deficit, end of April 2018 | Tunisia News Gazette

Slight improvement of trade balance deficit, end of April 2018

The trade balance deficit stood at 5,085.4 million dinars (MD) at the end of April 2018, compared to 5,151.4 MD in the same period of 2017.

Thus, the coverage rate edged up 6.3 points compared to the 1st four months of 2017 to 2.7% (against 6.4% in April 2017), announced the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

The trade balance deficit excluding energy narrowed to 3,398.2 MD and that of the energy balance to 1,687.2 MD (33.2% of the total deficit) against 1,384.2 MD during the same period in 2017.

This deficit, which remains very high, is mainly due to the imbalance of trade with certain countries such as China (-1,508.9 MD), Italy (-978.7 MD), Turkey (-749.7 MD), Russia (-416 MD) and Algeria (-358.1 MD).

On the other hand, the trade balance registered a surplus with other countries, mainly, with Tunisia’s 1st trade partner France to 1,307.3 MD, Libya 288.2 MD and Morocco 168.3 MD.

The reduction in the deficit is explained by the rise in exports at a sustained rate by 32.8% against 8% during the same period in 2017.

In value, exports reached the level of 13,542.6 MD against 10,201 MD during the same period in 2017.

This increase regards the majority of sectors. Indeed, the energy sector edged up 93%, following the increase in crude oil sales (668.5 MD against 303.6 MD), agricultural and agro-food products (+ 93.7%) in view of the spectacular increase in olive oil sales (1,015.7 MD against 284.3) and dates (369.9 MD against 263.9 MD), manufacturing industries 28.2%, textiles, clothing and leather 24.9% and mechanical and electrical industries 23.6%.

The mining, phosphate and derivatives sector recorded a drop by 29.5%.

Tunisian exports to the European Union (73.4% of total exports) were up 28.9%, due to the 87.2% increase of exports to Spain, 31.5% to Germany and 25.7% to France.

Exports to Morocco edged up 43.7% and Libya by 25.7%, however they fell 15.2% to Algeria.

Nevertheless, the trade deficit remains significant due to the 21.3% growth rate of imports to 18,628 MD against 13.8% in the 1st four months of 2017, i.e. 15,352.3 MD.

The perceptible increase in imports is mainly due to the 37.3% rise in energy sector imports, 27.4% in raw materials and semi-finished products and 17% in capital goods and 13.9% in basic agricultural and food products.

The mining, phosphate and derivatives sector fell by 2.2%. Non-energy imports increased 19.3%.

Source: TAP News Agency

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