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Tunisia’s food trade turns from deficit to surplus in first half of 2018

Tunisian flag is raised up to the highest flagpole on the 61st anniversary of Tunisia's independence in Tunis, Tunisia on 20 March 2017 [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian flag is raised up to the highest flagpole on the 61st anniversary of Tunisia's independence in Tunis, Tunisia on 20 March 2017 [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia’s food trade balance turned to a surplus of $ 66.9 million in the first half of 2018, compared to a deficit of $ 276.4 million in the corresponding period of 2017.

According to data from the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture, food exports increased by 72.6 per cent in the first seven months of 2018 and reached 3.163 billion Tunisian dinars ($ 1.158 billion).

Food imports rose by 15.2 per cent in the first half of 2018, reaching 2.981 billion Tunisian dinars ($ 1.091 billion).

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The increase in the exports’ value contributed to an improvement in the coverage of the imports by food exports to 106.1 per cent in the first seven months of 2018, compared to 70.8 per cent in the same period of 2017.

The increase of food exports is thanks to the growth of olive oil revenues that reached 538.8 million dollars, compared to 179.4 million dollars, and the date revenues that increased by 38 per cent and reached 256.4 million dollars.

The rise in the imports’ value came as a result of the devaluation of the Tunisian dinar against the dollar and the euro and the increase in world prices of some basic foodstuffs such as hard wheat, soft wheat, and barley.

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