Trade deficit widens in Q1 of 2017 | Tunisia News Gazette

Trade deficit widens in Q1 of 2017

The trade balance posted a deficit of 7,535.2 MTD in Q1 of 2017 against 6,034.1 MTD in the same period last year due to a deficit in relation to a number of countries such as China (-1,984.2 MTD), Italy (-1,117.5 MTD), Turkey (-932.9 MTD), Russia (-775.2 MTD) and Algeria (-140.9 MTD), June statistics show.

A surplus was, nonetheless, registered as far as such countries are concerned: France (1,470.6 MTD), Libya (380.4 MTD) and the UK (141.8 MTD), said the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

This deficit is the result imports growing at a higher pace (+16.4%) than exports (+12.7%). The coverage rate is 68.1% down from 70.3% in the same period last year in spite of a small improvement in the first five months of the year (67.3%).

The deficit exclusive of energy stands at 5,631.4 MTD, while the deficit in the energy balance is estimated at 1,903. 8 MTD (25.3% of the total deficit) against 1,497.4 MTD in Q1 of 2016.

//Exports rise 12.7% //

Foreign trade at current prices in Q1 of 2017 shows exports continue to grow at a steady though a slower pace compared to the first five months of the current year.

Actually, exports increased 12.7% after achieving a rate of 14.2% during the first five months of 2017 and -1.3% during the same period last year. The value of exports stood at 16,072.3 MTD against 14, 255.3 MTD in the same period last year.

Most sectors saw an increase in exports: energy (52.5%) as a result of a rise in crude oil sales (622.5 MTD against 387.0 MTD), agriculture and food industries (11.3% because of increasing sales of dates (347 MTD against 306 MTD), mechanical and electrical engineering industries (16.1%), textile, clothing and footwear (10.6%) and manufacturing industries (7.3%).

Meanwhile, the mining, phosphates and by-products sector posted a decline of 19.9% as a result of the dropping phosphoric acid exports (200.6 MTD against 332.3 MTD).

//Imports up 16.4%//

The value of imports stood at 23, 607.5 MTD against 20, 289.4 MTD in the same period last year, that is up 16.4% against 17.8% in the first five months of 2017.

This is mainly due to the rise in energy imports (34%) because of the increase in purchases of crude oil (363.9 MTD against 231.8 MTD) and refined products (1,792.4 MTD against 1,008.4 MTD).

Likewise, the imports of the food and agricultural commodities sector edged up 33.9% as a consequence of the increasing purchases of soft wheat (276 MTD against 230.4 MTD), raw materials and semi-finished products

(17.2%), capital goods (5.7%) and phosphate and by-products (4.9%).

Imports of consumer goods, exclusive of food products, recorded an increase (18.8%) due to an 8% rise in passenger car purchases (765.3 MTD against 708.3 MTD) and an 18.8% increase in the purchases of essential oils and perfumery (180.5 MTD against 152 MTD).

Imports exclusive of energy went up 14.4%.

Source: TAP News Agency

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