Tunisia: the food trade balance shows a deficit of 1 952.4 MD at the end of November 2021

The food trade balance recorded a deficit of 1,952.4 MD during the first eleven months of 2021, against a deficit of 678.8 MD, during the same period of the previous year.

Thus, the coverage rate stands at 66.7% in 2021, against 86.7% in 2020, according to the note on the “food trade balance at the end of November 2021”, published by ONAGRI on Monday.

In terms of value, food exports decreased by 11.2%, while imports increased by 15.4%.

The recorded deficit is mainly due to the higher rate of cereal imports (+ 25.9%) on the one hand and the drop in olive oil exports (-32.5%) on the other.

Export prices rose 42.5% for olive oil and 20.9% for tomatoes, compared to the same period last year.

However, those of dates, citrus fruits and fishery products fell by 12.1%, 7.2% and 2.5% respectively.

ONAGRI also notes a significant drop in imports of potatoes, meats and sugar, at the end of November 2021.

Import prices of cereals increased by 22.5% for durum wheat, 29.8% for soft wheat, 34.9% for barley and 52.8% for corn.

The same is true for the prices of vegetable oils (+ 41.6%), milk and derivatives (+ 15.3%) and sugar (+ 13.8%), while the prices of meat and potatoes fell by 37.8% and 9.3% respectively.

The country’s overall trade deficit at the end of November 2021 increased by 25.6% (-14,653.8 MD in 2021 against -11,666.6 MD in 2020).

Global imports increased from 46,617.0 MD in 2020 to 56,723.4 MD in 2021, i.e. a growth of 21.7%. Exports increased by 20.4% from 34,950.4 MD to 42,069.6 MD.

Energy and raw materials and semi-finished products together accounted for 47.3% of the country’s total imports.

Food exports represented 9.3% of total exports. Food imports represented 10.3% of total imports.

The share of the food trade deficit in the overall trade deficit increased by 7.5% compared to the same period last year, from 5.8% to 13.3%.