Tunisia: Trade deficit stands at 14.8 billion dinars at end September

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    The trade balance deficit stood at 14,848.1 million dinars (MD) in the 1st nine months of 2019 against 14,183.2 MD in the same period of 2018, according to the cyclical review of the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on foreign trade at current prices (September 2019).

    The coverage rate edged up 1.5 points compared with the first nine months of 2018, i.e. 69% against 67.5%.

    Not counting energy, the trade balance deficit is 9201.2MD. The energy balance deficit stands at 5646.9 MD (38% of the total deficit) against 4683.7 MD during the same period in 2018.

    Imports of energy products rose by 24.3% under the effect of the increase in purchases of natural gas (2934.3 MD against 1768.6MD).

    Overall exports grew 12% compared to +19.8% in the same period of 2018, according to the INS External Trade Note at current prices (September 2019). They reached 33,008.4 MD against 29,481.7 MD during the first nine months of the previous year.

    Imports rose by 9.6% against +21% during the same period of 2018: imports reached 47,856.5 MD against 43,664.8 MD during the first nine months of the year 2018.

    Trade by regime shows an increase in exports under the offshore regime of 13.6% against + 16.9% during the same period of 2018.

    Under the offshore regime, imports increased by 10.9% against + 23.2% during the same period of 2018.

    Under the general regime, exports are up 7.6% against + 28.4% during the same period of 2018.

    Imports increased by 9% against + 20% during the same period of 2018.

    The sectors affected by the rise in exports are energy 35.1%, mining, phosphates and derivatives 27.1%, mechanical and electrical industries 15.9%, textiles and clothing and leather 8.3% and other manufacturing industries by 19.1%.

    The trade balance witnessed a surplus, mainly with France by 3058.4 MD, Libya 982.1 MD and Morocco 319.1 MD.

    It witnessed a deficit of 14,848.1 MD following the deficit recorded with certain countries, such as China (-4,440.2 MD), Algeria (-2,432.8 MD), Italy (-2,082.3 MD), Turkey (-1,808.9 MD) and Russia (-1,103.6 MD).

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