Tunisia: food imports rise almost 30%

Tunisia’s trade balance of food products registered a deficit of TND 728.5 million (USD 295 million) in H1, nearly double the amount registered in the same period of last year, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries made available this Tuesday (18) by news agency Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP). The result amounted to 9.7% of the country’s overall deficit in the first six months of 2017.

Tunisian exports increased 12% in the period but imports rose even more, 29.8%.

Imports totaled TND 2.31 billion (USD 935.5 million) and were driven up by the increase in purchases of items such as sugar, vegetable oils and red meats and, in a lesser degree, common wheat and maize. Also up were purchases of bananas, canned fish and other prepared foods.

According to TAP, besides the surge in the volume of imported goods, also contributed to the spending increase a higher average price in the global market and the depreciation of the dinar. Food products accounted for 9.8% of Tunisian imports in the first six months, against 8.8% in the same period of 2016.

Meanwhile, the performance of exports was influenced by the increase in the sales of dates, seafood, pasta, fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits. It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Among the seasonal fruits are melons, peaches and apricots.

However, there was a decline in the shipments of olive oil – Tunisia’s main export products –, canned fish and citrus fruits. In both cases, the decline in exports occurred despite the increase in domestic production. Food products accounted for 9.8% of Tunisian exports in the first six months of 2017, against 10% of the same period of last year.


Food exports from Brazil to Tunisia totaled USD 102.85 million from January to June, up 14.3% over the first six months of 2016. There was an increase in shipments of sugar, corn and soy oils, beef and poultry. The data is from the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC) compiled by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

On the other hand, Brazil imported USD 1.59 million in food products from Tunisia in the first six months of the year, up 2.15% in comparison to the same period of 2016. The main items imported were olive oil, up 1.82%, and dates, up 0.45%.


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