Food trade balance deficit shrinks following drop in grain and vegetable oil imports (ONAGRI)

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



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