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Tunisia: Fuel Prices Increase 24% Since IMF Agreement

Tunisia: Fuel Prices Increase 24% Since IMF Agreement

Sunday, 17 November, 2019 - 11:30
Tunisian motorists line up at a gas station in Tunis, Tunisia (File Photo: AFP)

Fuel prices in Tunisia successively increased 24 percent since reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the loan in 2016, in what is known as the “automatic adjustment” of the prices agreed between the authorities and the Fund.

Fuel prices are expected to rise in 2020 after the reduction of subsidies of petroleum products, which was approved at the request of the IMF as part of the gradual lifting of subsidies.

The Finance Bill 2019 approved a 25 percent budget reduction of fuel subsidies, which could have direct repercussions on social stability in Tunisia as a result of the increase in fuel prices on most economic activities.

Fuel subsidies, according to the budget of 2020, are expected to fall from $845 million this year to $628 million next year.

The draft finance law for 2020 indicated that oil imports will be reduced to about 721 million tons.

Several oil and gas fields will soon be used and begin production, especially the al-Nawara field, which is capable of providing a significant proportion of domestic energy needs. As a result, Tunisian authorities expect an increase in oil and gas production.

Oil production in Tunisia currently does not exceed 41 thousand tons per day, after it was about 80 thousand tons in 2010.

This decline is due to the difficulties experienced by exploration and drilling companies following the 2011 revolution and the need for the Tunisian parliament to approve all exploration and drilling licenses.

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