The Tunisian trade deficit widened during the first seven months of 2018 by 15 percent, and a 23.3 percent growth in exports sector failed to limit the registered deficit on the level of commercial exchanges with a number of countries, on top of them China and Turkey.
The total trade deficit was estimated by the end of July at around TND9946.5 million (around USD3.683 billion) after it was near TND8628 million during the first nine months of the past year. More than one-third of the trade deficit is associated with the rise in oil prices in international markets.
Despite this increase in the trade deficit, the coverage rate witnessed a progress of 1.4 points compared to the same period of the past year, reaching 70.3 percent after it was estimated at around 68.9 percent.
According to the National Institute of Statistics, the gross value of exports reached around TND23580.1 million by the end of July of 2018 against TND19128.9 million during the same period of 2017. Imports continued to increase and reached 20.8 percent against 18.8 percent during the first seven months of the past year with a value of TND33526.6 million against TND27756.9 million in 2017.
In the same context, the Tunisian imports from the European Union countries grew 22.2 percent, representing around 54.9 percent of Tunisian imports. Belgium exports to Tunisia increased 26.2 percent, those from Italy and France hiked 20.4 percent and 20.5 percent, respectively.
On the level of bilateral Arab exchanges, the results show a rise in Tunisian exports to Egypt with 38.5 percent, to Morocco 34.4 percent, and to Libya with 26.7 percent while those to Algeria plunged 9.1 percent.