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10/03/2018 - 07:00hs

Food exports from Tunisia up 109%

The country went from running a deficit in the first two months of 2017 to posting a surplus trade with other countries in January and February of this year.

Tunis – Tunisia ran a TND 268.3 million (USD 111 million) surplus in international food trade in January and February this year, bouncing back from a TND 295.2 million (USD 122 million) deficit in first two months of 2017, Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) reported this Friday (9). The number came as a result of a 109.2% hike in food exports, to TND 1.052 billion (USD 435.4 million), and a 1.8% drop in imports, to TND 783.7 million (USD 324.3 million).

Foreign sales were driven by a more than threefold increase in olive oil sales. The product’s average price also improved, by 14%, causing revenue to nearly quadruple year-on-year in January and February.

Exports also increased significantly for seafood, dates, fresh and preserve produce, fruit preserves and fish preserves. However, citrus fruits exports went down due to the amount of product available for foreign sales.

Food exports accounted for 15.9% of the country’s total foreign sales in the first two months, against 10.8% in the same period of last year.

Regarding imports, the decline was due to a reduction in purchases of cereals, especially common wheat, barley and corn, plus coffee and tea. However, imports of dairies, essential oils and sugars went up.

The imports of food products accounted for 8.9% of Tunisia’s foreign purchases in 2018’s first two months, against 11.2% in the same period of 2017.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum and Sérgio Kakitani

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