The food trade balance deficit shrank to TND559.2 at the end of August 2023, compared with TND1,563.6 million during the first 8 months of the previous year, according to data from the National Observatory of Agriculture (ONAGRI) released on Friday.
The coverage rate rose to 89.0% at the end of August 2023, compared with 70.9% at the end of August 2022, the same source added.
The observatory explained the narrowing of the deficit by the rise in olive oil exports (+52.5%) and the fall in imports of grain (-14.9%) and vegetable oils (-28.9%), despite the increase in imports of sugar (+111.2%) and milk and by-products (+75.0%).
The share of the food trade deficit in the overall trade deficit narrowed by 4.7 percentage points compared with the same period last year, from 9.2% to 4.6%.
In terms of value, food exports were up 18.6% to TND4,526.3 million, while imports were down 5.5% to TND5,085.6 million.
Export prices rose by 58.6% for olive oil (16.90 DT/kg), 27.5% for tomatoes, 4.1% for dates and 1.3% for citrus fruits, compared with the same period the previous year. On the other hand, peach prices dropped by 4.1%.
Import prices for grain products declined by between 18% and 24%. Durum wheat prices fell by 23.9%, soft wheat by 21.1%, barley by 19.6% and maize by 18.0%.
Vegetable oil prices also fell by 18.2%, while sugar prices increased by 20.7% and milk and by-products by 7.7%.
Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse