Trade: figures with Turkey are improving, not those of phosphate!

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The results of Tunisia’s external trade at current prices in the first four months of 2019 show that exports grew 16.5% (+ 32.8% during the same period of 2018).

This is reported by the INS, which states that exports reached the level of 15,776.3 MD against 13,542.6 MD during the four months of 2018.

Tunisia exports more, but also imports more, phosphate

Similarly, the INS added in a statement dated May 10, 2019 that imports increased by 18.7% (+ 21.3% during the same period of 2018).

Imports therefore reached the value of 22,113.1 MD against 18,628 MD during the first four months of 2018.

The INS deduced that the deficit of the Tunisian trade balance stood at 6.336.9 MD vs. 5085.4 MD during the first four months of 2018.

The Tunisian trade balance remained, at the end of April 2019, strongly marked by the evolution of the phosphates sector, which the government remains so far unable to control.

In fact, the 16.5% improvement in exports is owed a lot to the 87.7% increase in the mining, phosphates and derivatives sector. An increase to regulate the optimism of some advisers, above the best levels of July 2016 or July 2018.

Add to this the fact that the Tunisian trade balance owes the 18.7% increase of imports to a 38.1% increase in the mining and phosphate sector.

Other details, in these figures of Tunisian foreign trade, for the first 4 months of 2019: First exports of food products, which fell by 12%, while imports grew 18.6%; second, imports of consumer goods, up 15.7%. Tunisia has imported more than in 2018 and more than in 2017. But this could be due to a change effect.

Tunisia imports less from Turkey

Let us note, all the same, in a reading of the figures of the Tunisian foreign trade by country, that the figures of the commercial exchanges of Tunisia with Turkey seem to know a change, rather positive, at the beginning of year 2019.

In fact, at the end of December 2018, Tunisia had imported 2.740 billion tons of goods from Turkey and exported only 433 MD.

Three months later, in March 2019, Tunisia’s imports from Turkey were only 0.70 billion TD and exports to 0.053 billion TD.

In April 2019, a month later, Tunisia’s imports from Turkey cost 0.992 billion TND and exports to Turkey amounted to 88 MD.

While Tunisian imports from Turkey seem to have stalled and are now far from the 2 billion DT of 2018 (perhaps also because of the depreciation of the Turkish currency), Tunisia’s exports to Turkey still do not manage to compete.

We are certainly a little better than the 53 MD, but we are still far, far from the 433 MD of December 2018.

This new morphology is also attested even by the figures, in kilograms, of Tunisia’s imports and exports to and from Turkey.

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